A few weeks back, actor Geoffrey Owens, actor from the Cosby Show, was all over social media about his job at Trader Joe’s. How his fall from grace landed him in a job like being a checker at Trader Joe’s. Interesting how the person who made that video and claim hasn’t been brought up, cut down or made to face public scrutiny? I am going to leave that there and let you think about that while I move on. (Lord knows others would have been made public enemy number one!)
This is a societal challenge. There are jobs out there for the taking, but it would mean swallowing pride and just doing them! Did Mr. Owens have a lifelong dream of being a checker? No. Did he take a job so he could survive, help his family and make a living? Yes! So many people these days wouldn’t think about taking a job at the local grocery story or fast food chain because those jobs are beneath them. Who are these people and who raised them??
I remember going to the potato fields at 5:30 in the morning with a hoe in my hand (only to learn we didn’t need a hoe, just a good pair of gloves!) Then, leaving that job mid-day to go be a waitress in the evening. Neither one were glamorous, but I worked with some great hard working people who loved being together and knew they needed to put food on the tables of their families. No job shaming, no fear of people learning that you worked in the fields, just people out making a living.
This morning I heard a term “dignity of work” which I think means doing the best in the job you have and not being ashamed of doing that job. NOW this is a skill we should be teaching our kids! The person who took and shared the video of Mr. Owen (and to all who liked it, laughed at it, shared it, etc.) I offer you to come to our house or to our farm and we will make sure you know what it’s like to work for a living. If you prefer not to take my up on my offer, put down the phone and go to work just one day and I pray your attitude changes and you learn about dignity of work!