Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Deflated Pollyanna

Sooooo this perpetual Pollyanna hasn't felt very Pollyanna-ish lately. Oh the positive effervescence is still inside of me, but it's been more than a bit flat in my attempts at executing it. Do I still believe that EVERYTHING, without exception works to good? Without question. I just can't help but feel a bit fidgety lately. I don't mind waiting on God, in fact most of the time I actually ENJOY the downtime of the wait, it gives me a chance to focus on what I'm doing now that may become an asset for me in the future. Valuable prep time as it were. So why am I feeling fidgety this time? I guess I'm still trying to figure that out. That's probably why I'm still awake at 2am when I should be sleeping so I can get up in 3 hours and go deal with a herd of germ carrying munchkins. Although at this point since I'm wide awake it may be a viable option to pull an all nighter...lol.
Ironically the crux of my frustration right now stems from my job. Now don't get me wrong, I actually love my job, my employer and my boss. That isn't the problem. The problem is that I feel a bit....well....overlooked. I know the value of what my gifts and talents are, the years of experiences I have and what I can bring to the table if given the opportunity.  When I was 20 I started my own business and quickly became quite successful at it, but due to a glaring lack of capital as well as a barely minimum wage job I had to put an end to it. After that I had a healthy string of successful positions over the years that all included my working my way up from the bottom and into a management position. They went from managing as few as 5 employees to being solely responsible for over 8,000 corporate accounts. My frustration is that I feel like the assets I have are not being tapped into for the greater good. My battle is to appreciate the place I'm in for the downtime it affords me as well as thoughtfully considering the points that perhaps I'm having this extended downtime because I quite simply need to continue to grow to a point of maturity that I will be READY for the next level. Something I am always willing to see as a credible possibility because quite frankly even though I know how far I've come, I also know I have a long way to go.
I could easily sit and go through a list of whining points to validate my frustrations....but realistically, what does that solve? Whining never solves anything and all it accomplishes is irritating it's listeners, trust me, I know....I DESPISE whining! What I can do however, in true Pollyanna form, is make a list of the reasons why I should be glad that things are the way they are right now. So for much more my benefit than yours, here I go.
1) I'm glad that I don't have to take work home.
2) I'm glad that I can let the weight of difficult decisions fall on someone else's shoulders.
3) I'm glad that I don't have more things to try and focus on during 8 short hours than just making sure my students know their colors, shapes, numbers and manners.
4) I'm glad that I have a boss that prays for her workers.
5) I'm glad that I work with Christians, something I longed for, for years.
6) I'm glad that I don't have the daily battle of re-establishing co-worker relationship vs supervisor relationship
7) I'm glad that I no longer have to carry the burden of hiring and firing people...something I never really relished in the first place.
8) I'm glad I can support the boss I do have to help her get to a higher place in her career because I wish I had people who would have done that for me.
I guess in reality I'm glad that things are the way they are for now....I suppose I really do know that God hasn't overlooked me and I know He is aware of what I can and cannot do as well as what my true heart desires are for my present and my future. So the real question is can I continue to wait patiently and trust Him even when it feels like things aren't moving. Yeah.......I can. **sigh** and maybe I need to remember all of these things when I want to rush the process along.

Jeremiah 29:11 (New Living Translation)

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Power of a Vote

 Ok, I've let enough days pass that I can now write this entry without seething agitation. I even considered not touching on this topic at all, but finally decided that would be foolish. I need to say something...for whatever it's worth. I'm not going to shred anybody or any political party, but I am going to make a bi-partisan statement...or a few really. 

There are certain things that still elude my understanding since I have lived in New England. One of them involves politics. Relax, even though I have VERY strong opinions regarding politics I will not be going on any tirade here...even though I may want to. However there is something that I have noticed on both sides of the political fence that I find morbidly interesting, and infuriating. Where I grew up if we don't like a politician who's in office, even if they are a member of our registered party and even if we helped elect them.....we vote them out. If they don't listen to us anymore and have proven that they have developed their own agenda and don't care what the constituents want, then we simply get them out of office. Here in New England though, I have seen another phenomena. The people here complain about how ridiculously high the taxes are (which they are)and about how they disagree with this and with that and they develop a fury about them to "vote them out next time" and it looks like we will finally be free of this hamster wheel that is the incumbent political prison....but then........as voting day gets closer something happens. They cave...they recant the vow to do away with the problematic politicians, be it from fear, from a misguided sense of loyalty or a sudden belief about an accusation (whether true or not) regarding the opponent!

I cannot even tell you how many times I hear the statement, "..well...I don't like either one, but this one has already been in office and they at least know what they're doing."  WHAT????  Of course they know what they're doing..that's part of the problem, they know how to work the system AND the people for their own benefit! These voters decide to stick with the people that have been ignoring their opinions and desires for years...sometimes for DECADES! Many of them have told me, "well...I've always voted for this party, my parents are/were this party and so were my grandparents, blah, blah, blah..." ORRRR....."..well, THIS party is for the people...."   ROFL!! Since when?!?!?  or...."well this group that I'm a member of supports this party so I have to vote those lines" Says WHO??? Then the WORST one EVER, " well, my votes never seem to matter anyway, so I just don't bother.." OMG!!!!! REALLY?!?!?!? May I direct you to a partial list of historic close elections decided by just 1 vote or only a few? Please click here to read more on that.

 When did the RIGHT to vote become so taken for granted? If you aren't a white male then you need to VALUE your right to vote for no other reason than that less than 100 years ago you HAD NO RIGHT to vote!! (women, Aug 26th,1920/ black men battled for their constitutional right to vote since the 1830's and finally got wide breakthrough in the 1960's) People who have immigrated to our country from countries ruled by communism understand the value of voting and they exercise that right every chance they get. My in-laws were a PERFECT example of this having lived in communist Russia, and WWII Germany. 

 The other thing that bothers me aside from the lack of voting is the mindless lemming mentality when it comes to choosing a candidate. When did people stop caring who represents them? I love my family, my friends and my church, and I value their opinions, but if I do the research and believe that any given candidate does not support the issues that I believe in...then guess what, I won't support them no matter who else does! If we are disgusted to see individuals ride the coattails of others to a successful career then why is it any less disgusting to ride the political coattails of our friends and relatives? Make your own informed researched choices, stop basing your opinions and beliefs solely on what you have received as second, third , fourth or more hand knowledge! Don't just rely on the popular media of the day either....that's how Hitler was able to accomplish as much as he did....it's called propaganda. Dig for the facts, dig for the truth. An ignorant vote is a deadly vote.

If you and I were members of the same book club and we are having a conversation where we hit a topic that we PASSIONATELY disagree on....(lets pick a real fiery one like abortion) if you believe strongly one way and I the other and we cannot come to agree......but I was up for election to a committee to change legislation on it and I tell you that I am going to do my best to turn things MY way ......seeing as I disagree with you so strongly, could you trust me to stand up for your cause? You probably wouldn't. What if the topic were the death penalty, or immigration laws, gay marriage or any other hot button topic in the world today? What if the topics are less volatile...like the environment, drug laws and the national deficit? Would you vote me into a position where I could change things to go drastically against what you believe in JUST BECAUSE we're in the same book club? Of course you wouldn't. Then, why would a person vote a politician into office just because they are in the same political party? It is the SAME concept. We must use wisdom when we vote...we MUST research what they stand for and believe in and not just by what they say, they can SAY anything, but by what they DO. Look up their voting records and see what they say versus what they DO. 

Finally, fight for the good candidates to get on the ballots! Many times we don't speak up in the primaries and therefore the candidates with the least money or media backing get ignored and sadly, sometimes they would have been the better choice. You can't complain about not liking either of the candidates we end up having to choose between if you didn't do all you could in the primaries to try and get the good ones on the ballot!

Judges 9 (New Living Translation)

Judges 9:7-20

Jotham’s Parable
 7 When Jotham heard about this, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted,   “Listen to me, citizens of Shechem!
      Listen to me if you want God to listen to you!
 8 Once upon a time the trees decided to elect a king.
      First they said to the olive tree,
      ‘Be our king!’
 9 But the olive tree refused, saying,
   ‘Should I quit producing the olive oil
      that blesses both God and people,
      just to wave back and forth over the trees?’
 10 “Then they said to the fig tree,
      ‘You be our king!’
 11 But the fig tree also refused, saying,
   ‘Should I quit producing my sweet fruit
      just to wave back and forth over the trees?’
 12 “Then they said to the grapevine,
      ‘You be our king!’
 13 But the grapevine also refused, saying,
   ‘Should I quit producing the wine
      that cheers both God and people,
      just to wave back and forth over the trees?’
 14 “Then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said,
      ‘Come, you be our king!’
 15 And the thornbush replied to the trees,
   ‘If you truly want to make me your king,
      come and take shelter in my shade.
   If not, let fire come out from me
      and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’”
 16 Jotham continued, “Now make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants. Have you treated him with the honor he deserves for all he accomplished? 17 For he fought for you and risked his life when he rescued you from the Midianites. 18 But today you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman’s son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative.
 19 “If you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants today, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy in you. 20 But if you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the leading citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech!”