Sound Bite Psychology

This week, to my great surprise, I developed sympathy for the presidential candidates and the problem of having your life, your purpose, and your value reduced to a sentence or two. My value, how I view the world and my place in it, or what I am capable of contributing cannot be summed up in a sound bite. It’s frustrating and a bit infuriating when they try!

My sound bite moment came during a job interview. When I was asked why “at this age” I had taken an “entry level” position (implied: what’s wrong with you-are you stupid or crazy?), I was caught unprepared. I felt I was being reminded of “my place.” (I am not a college graduate. I am not young:) But, I love my job. I took my current job when financial reality dictated I couldn’t keep putting huge quantities of energy into my passion of being part of a team that got resources to teams serving internally displaced people in Burma who were had limited options for getting medical/dental care without their help. I am a sucker for a mission! I was blessed to find a job where I have been able to help people here in our area access dental treatment, even if they don’t the have huge quantities of money that frequently requires. I can live with that. There is still mission involved. It is still serving people. It is my compromise.

I have never fit well in the box. A test we took once at the dental office I worked at on Whidbey Island said that I was a “circle”: a person who likes to build team work, values people, nurtures other, like to get along, sees the bigger picture. My “career path” has included ample time on the “Mommy track” – a privilege I would not trade for anything. It is what was important and of eternal value. I am grateful.

Too bad job interviews don’t let you do your answers by essay instead of by interviews, judged by the sound bites. I would have had much more to say. I may not be much by the world’s standards, but I am a mother of three amazing adult children who still love me, for 34 years the wife of a kind, gentle, loving man, a child of God-saved by His grace and bought back from destruction. I am called to follow Him out of the safety of the box into the land where the wild things dwell. My life has purpose, even if the suit and tie crowd will never comprehend it. They don’t get to take away who grace has made me.

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