Inspiration from the past

Here we are on Martin Luther King Jr day in 2018. I’m watching Barrack Obama on the new David Letterman show on Netflix and Obama spoke of how King inspired him. He inspired so many people for many years to come and still does. And yet, I look around the world and see so much work still to do. In some ways it’s disheartening. In other ways he inspires strength of character and bravery in the face of racism, bigotry and hatred. Imagine the courage it took to march on Selma, to watch your fellow citizens be beaten and terrorized and to continue to march on. Imagine keeping the dream alive in the face of all the violence that was occurring. To stand in front of a crowd knowing that you were literally taking your life in your hands. These were ordinary people who dug deep to find their strength to keep going. To speak up and not accept the status quo.

I hope to keep the dream alive in my own small way. To be an ally for those still being adversely affected because of the colour of their skin, the religion they choose, the sexuality they express. Let’s be inspired by the past and by those still working toward the dream.

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Finding the wisdom to follow my integrity

The beginning of the new year has been pretty relaxed and easy. I’ve been keeping myself busy planning for life after a transplant. Not having to work my full time job this past month or so has given such an opportunity to take stock. As I mentioned in my last post this is a year of getting my health in order and to start, I’m taking a good hard look at what I truly believe in and value. My mental health is high on that list, as high as my physical health. In order to support my mental health I need to look at what changes need to be made in my life. The work I do needs to matter. It’s always been that way and I’ve been lucky to find meaning in my work for the most part. That said, I also need to feel supported and valued. Working in an atmosphere where you feel undervalued or you feel like people actively work against you is extraordinarily detrimental to mental health. So how do we continue to work in a world that is so often competitive rather than cooperative and maintain our own integrity. How do we fit in?

Sometimes I think I’m just not made for this world. I’m a step out of sync with others. Or is it that I’m simply not flexible enough to change myself to fit with other people’s way of being? What does anyone want in work? Respect, acknowledgement, fulfillment, knowing that you’ve done the best you can and it’s made an impact, however small, on the world. But maybe that’s not what everyone wants. Maybe a lot of folks are content with making money. Money has never been enough of a draw for me. Don’t get me wrong, I need money to pay the bills and hopefully travel and not be feeling stressed about where money will come from all the time. It’s just not the primary motivation. I’ve sometimes tried to convince myself that the paycheque was enough. Ignore the rest, earn the pay go home and forget about it. But the truth is, that goes against my personal values. And I’m not willing to change my values for a paycheque.

So that brings me back to the start. How do we continue to work in a world that is so often competitive rather than cooperative and maintain our own integrity. Coming from love is almost always the answer. Easier to say than to put into action when we’re met with disrespect and resistance. I’m no Mother Theresa, I’m solidly human and it’s hard to turn the other cheek so to speak. And I always wonder why any of us needs to work in such atmospheres. “Another f**king growth opportunity” my mom would say. But how do you know when it’s time to take a leap of faith and move on. It’s sometimes safe to stay where you’re comfortable but not great for your growth. How to tell the difference? Deep inside I think I know the answer and I will continue to plan and let things fall into place when the time is right. Continue planning for life after a transplant.

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