Thought for the Week
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Living Beyond Defined Descriptions…..
Recently I spent some time with a group of individuals writing a job description for an opening at the camp my family and I are involved with. The person who currently holds this job has held it for nearly 35 years and has decided to retire. Realizing that over the past 35 years the job responsibilities have changed, we concluded that a new more precise job description was necessary. As we labored through mounds of job descriptions we pulled from other camps, we discussed the importance of flexibility meaning that even though there were certain criteria necessary for the job, the new person needed to be willing to reach outside the realm of his/her responsibilities and pitch in if necessary much like the current job holder. We listed this as “all other duties necessary”.
I have a job chart in my classroom. Each day during circle time students are given the opportunity to place their name card on a job for that day. There are certain that jobs that are more popular such as line leader and flag holder, while others like the caboose, table washer or trash helper are not so popular. During job time I find myself explaining that not everyone can be the line leader that someone has to be the caboose. Recently one of my students said “but being the caboose is no fun; I don’t like being in the back!” Being careful to choose my words wisely I explained to her that sometimes we have to learn a new job or do something that is not so much fun, however, I needed her to be the very best caboose she could be. I told her that by being the caboose at the end of the line it was her job to make sure that nobody got left behind; she grinned and happily hopped to the back of the line.
Many years ago (26 to be exact) I met a young man who was in charge of the housekeeping department at the college where I worked. I remember one day the housekeeper in my building asked me to page him because her vacuum cleaner wasn’t working. He arrived a few minutes later, took off his sport coat, rolled up his sleeves and began to work on the vacuum cleaner. There were other times when I would see this man in other buildings cleaning and waxing floors in his dress clothes and shoes and admired him for his work ethic and the fact that he was willing to do whatever necessary to get the job done. When I asked him why he would do such menial tasks he replied “I would never ask someone to do something that I am not willing to do myself.” I married that man a few years later and continue to be impressed by his work ethic and leadership.
Our world has become such a “Me” driven society that we tend to avoid helping others simply because quite frankly, it’s not our job; they are not our responsibility. As a preschool teacher my duties vary from teaching, to wiping noses and other areas of the toddler anatomy, however, it is not uncommon to find me un-clogging a toilet, changing the paper towel roll, fixing the soap dispenser or mopping up a spill. I do this because it is what is necessary at the time. What has happened in our world that we tend to focus on just ourselves and not others? I blame a lot of it on technology and the fact that we are busier than ever and quite often don’t take time to look around to see what else needs to be done. We stay so focused on our own lives that we tend to ignore those on the outside of our life circle. We need to figure out a way to get back to being a society of folks who look out for our neighbors, lend a hand when needed even when it’s not our job to do so. Life should not be restricted by job descriptions; it should be lived in a manner in which we live, learn and grow in community without limits.
As you go about your life this week, take a moment to think outside of your own limits. For me, I will strive to be more like that young man I met so many years ago who would roll up his sleeves and do whatever it took to get the job done.
Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles for more thought for the week here. Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.
Topic: Thought for the week