Sunday, September 23, 2012

Purchasing Worth

I was a little sad this morning when I went to my school's website & checked the box confirming that I wanted to drop the class... Fall term starts tomorrow, but hours at work have increased to the point where I'm typically coming home well after midnight, winding down & sleeping 8 hours till noon. I wake & am back on the road to work by 2. School is unthinkable at the moment. I was able to carry all my credits working as many as 30 hours, but I struggled & felt like the walking dead. So I'm going to focus on one thing at a time: pay down my loans, get debt free & then go back to school on my own dime, at my own pace. It will be slow, but in the times we find ourselves in, I think its unwise to a) incur further debt & b) run my health into the ground.

Some part of me feels like this is the equivalent of giving up, of admitting that I can't measure up to those I know with Masters degrees & beyond. Quitting school, even if momentarily, makes me feel like a failure, an ignoramus, an underachiever. There are plenty of single adults raising kids, working multiple jobs & going to school... some are fighting addiction or dealing with divorce or some other tragedy... and they show up to class every morning. They're going to be nurses, teachers, community leaders. And what about me? What's wrong with me? Am I a nothing because I don't have a degree? I work in a warehouse, where I've been nearly 6 years now. I'm called "unskilled" in the professional world, but I'm there Monday through Friday, do my job well & am praised & paid accordingly. I do alright. But some part of me still feels like if I don't have a paper, I'm nothing. In reality, this is pure crap. Every human life, whatever the poverty or prosperity, whatever the education or lack thereof, is at its core, worth something. At least that's how the spiel goes. I guess tonight I'm not really buying it...

I hate how the world today assigns value to money & privilege. If you go to school, you're typically more respectable in society. If you get a Master's, you have a little more leverage. If you become a Ph.D, you've shown you can be a leader who is willing to sacrifice your life for the cause of educating others in some way. But if you are an unskilled worker, you're a dime a dozen. You don't have the same worth an "educated" person does. You get paid less, work more & are subject to the occasional idiocy of the corporate mind. You keep your head down & do as you're told because you know you are expendable. So how is it Jesus & His 12 "unskilled" disciples impacted the world?

I have a feeling we've got this whole thing backwards... Where did Jesus ever inspire us to get ahead, to sacrifice all for personal success & knowledge? Knowledge is not the same as experiential wisdom... Its not the same as relationship. And wasn't He always talking about turning the other cheek, preferring others above ourselves & loving one another as God loves us? Yeah, we need educated people in the world.  But I don't think it should be the definitive mold for worth as it seems to have become.

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