So I'm at the airport, which already feels like I've stepped into Back to the Future 2: I haven't flown in a while. I had to sit at a table and order my breakfast on a tablet... luckily a sweet-faced young woman was here to walk me through robot-land here. It feels truly bizarre. We can't order through people anymore? Visions of Minority Report and Fifth Element are flashing through my head. Holograms traveling through the air, every inch of airspace congested with information and data. We are on that precipice...how much does tech encroach upon our lives, our work, our interactions? Where is the line? And are we mature enough, responsible enough, for all of the implications? Big questions for 6 am. :yawns:
So. I've been reflecting. Looking over my Life, thinking about Paris, climate, countries, states... all of it. It's all one organism. How often we forget. We...are all one giant system made of a gazillion sub-systems. But again, too heavy for 6 am. Haven't had enough coffee yet. But... work. People. Work and people. With people. For people...
The field of public service can be brutal, in many ways. There are a plethora of things to complain about, for sure. And we do, sometimes. We all have days and we are quite human and have our own lives, as does anyone else.
But sometimes, I get to see "my kids" come back. Teachers and counselors and public librarians are so lucky in this way, almost like a parent: that we get to be there for certain growing periods of a child's life, when they are earnest and studious, and then rebellious and snarky, or they're bullied or they're being the bully ... or they're triumphant, or questioning, or confused and lost ... and on and on. Oh, to see a child in their innocence through to their formative adolescence, and then...years later... to see them return. The great return, a bit like birds flying back home to the nest.
And this doe-eyed child is now a young adult. Perhaps they've finished college, or they've found a trade or a passion in something outside of academia. They speak eloquently, respectfully, they are kind and make eye contact. They read. They think. And they engage in their world. They strive for earnest success. They have...evolved. Grown. Matured. And in that moment that youth flashes before your eyes, and the gratitude... the deep, deep humbling bow to even being able to effect the life of another in such a way... just erases the rest of it. The politics, the petty issues, the whatever-it-is that doesn't make sense in the given workplace, and there's always something.
But those moments, those precious, awe-filled moments, are irreplaceable and graceful reminders: I am here to serve. These are my people; this is my community. And I get to participate in their lives in such a powerful way. What beauty in that.
And to any and all teens reading this: stay the course. People will hurt you, belittle you, tease you, misunderstand you, be jealous, be uncaring. Just as much as your friends can be supportive, lifting, caring, loving, and will commiserate with you at a moment's notice. High school isn't forever. If you're one of those wandering souls, mind alight with fascinations and stories and bewilderment, just stay the course. Make it through, and the world will open. You will meet other people who see and feel the world in the same ways, and you'll connect with them. And you'll learn and grow and and look back on these days ... as a training ground. Stay the course. You're worth it, and there's a whole world of people, beyond the present circumstance, who really do support you and believe in you. xoxo