Whenever you meet someone new, it’s common for them to ask for whom you work.
For years, my answer has been The Lima News, in a variety of capacities, from sports reporter to news reporter to senior content editor to new media editor. (Don’t tell anyone, but those last two are really the same job with different titles.)
Recently, I realized I’ve been giving the wrong answer. I work for my daughters.
I put in an honest day’s work at the word factory, and then some. I’ll put out enough fires internally that I should be an honorary firefighter. I’ll start one or two as well, just to keep our readers on their toes.
Journalism is a needy mistress, though, and she’s mighty ungrateful for the sacrifices her suitors make, whether it’s long hours, stressful days or gut-wrenching decisions. At the end of the day, she is as unforgiving as she is distant.
That’s when, in a moment of clarity, you realize you work for your children, not your boss or your company. You work so they can achieve their dreams and their goals. They offer the best benefits package anywhere, love.
Best of all, they care about you in a way no one else can.
My middle daughter reminded me of this earlier in the week. Dad forgot to send her kindergarten class’s snack with her one day last week, when her mother was away on business. In the midst of a stressful and long workweek, paired with playing single dad for four days, I just plain forgot.
When you forget something important, you expect wrath. I got the uncommon forgiveness of a 5-year-old.
“That’s OK, Daddy,” she said. “I know you have a lot to do. It was all right.”
What employer is this forgiving? Who else tries so hard to make you feel better after a disappointment?
We should all spend a little more time in our lives thinking about those coming behind us. There’s little joy in merely making the world a better place for yourself. There’s quite a bit for making the world a better place for your children, your family and your friends. There’s enormous joy in making the world better for everyone.
Too often we lose sight of that.
Yes, The Lima News pays my bills and fills my days. But I work for my daughters, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.