Posts Tagged ‘editorial’

The jobs will be waiting. Let them play now and build memories.

 The jobs will be waiting. Let them play now and build memories. (Collage created from John Fisken photos)

Jobs suck.

With rare exception, they are a necessary evil, something you have to do to survive in the adult world where bill-collectors expect you to pay for stuff like rent and electricity.

There are some of us, a very few, who find a job that is truly something we enjoy.

Being paid to watch movies for 15 years as a video store manager wasn’t terribly burdensome, I will admit, but then people had to go and screw up a good thing by deciding to virtually eliminate the entire industry.

Thanks. Thanks a whole freakin’ lot, you hosers.

But anyway, I understand the purpose of jobs, the necessity of them. We all have to give in sooner or later.

What does bother me is when parents decide that their high school children must go get a job at a time when it prevents them from being able to participate in sports or theater or other school activities.

Every family is different. Some families have a legitimate need for every person in the house to be bringing in money.

I have lived that, I understand that.

But when there is a choice, I think consideration should be paid to looking at the broad picture.

Everyone eventually works, and it goes on for the rest of your life. The time frame to play a sport is a limited one, however.

I would argue that the life lessons they would pick up on the softball field or the football gridiron, riding a bus to a basketball game in a faraway town or running sprints are just as important, sometimes more so, than the lesson that yes, you will have to have a job.

Sports force you to adapt, to work with others, to accept defeat while always working for victory. It sits you down next to people you may not like and, since you are wearing the same jersey, it makes you find common ground with them.

It teaches you that those in authority — the refs, in this case — can be fair or they can be incredibly biased and short-sighted, and you will have to deal with it.

In short, it teaches you everything you will need to know … about having a job. But if also gives you life-long memories of the type you’re not going to find tending the drive-thru at Taco Bell.

Years from now, Julia Myers will remember the night she hit a free throw with 9.9 seconds to play, lifting the Coupeville High School girls’ basketball team to its first playoff win in a very, very long time and sending her classmates in the stands swarming the floor afterwards.

Her teammates who were jumping up and down, screaming in joy as their hard work paid off, will always remember that night. Her friends, her family, her fans, will remember that night.

The kid who could have been on that court, on that bench, in that uniform, but who spent the night toiling for minimum wage somewhere because their parent felt it was necessary to prepare them for future life — they’re not going to give a crap five minutes after they left work, much less five months or five years down the road, whether those customers enjoyed their Whoppers or whether a dish that will be re-cleaned every three hours for eternity (or until it gets mercifully broken) came out of the dishwasher spotless that night.

Giving your children the chance to build memories, to learn lessons, to be part of something bigger than themselves, is huge.

If you can make that choice, it should be an easy one.

Let your children play while they have the chance. The jobs will still be there, waiting for them, the rest of their lives.

And, having let them play, they will be far better prepared to handle them.

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