Fireman taking a break from fighting a fire.
Achievements,  Gratitude

I’m Just Doing My Job

I had to think long and hard before writing this blog post. For some reason, I went into my head wondering what people would think of some of the rationale in this statement, “I’m just doing my job.”

I thought of those who have worked for years, giving and giving, only to be told, sorry, it is time to downsize. Happens all the time. Then I considered the people who would think, well they are just doing their job, so what’s the big deal?

The big deal is looking at job descriptions and then making a thoughtful decision.  There is also the element of exactly what the people, who are workers, put out in their own energy field. “I’m just doing my job” is one of those projected energies that can make people act ungrateful, unthinking and downright obnoxious.

In my long career I have plenty to say about being taken for granted, for being thought of as rich, about papers, letters and resumes. However, this blog is not personal. This is factual, and perhaps if we are lucky, some people might start respecting those who provide services as volunteers. Wouldn’t that be luvverly?

Respect for Volunteers

Firefighters are the unsung heroes in this world. Currently they are fighting out of control fires in Australia. I have a fellow evacuee friend, Eileen Roberts, who keeps me informed. As I write, the fires are heading toward her daughter’s home. She is packed and ready to flee this onslaught.

Firefighters from other countries have arrived to assist in taming this blaze. Sadly, the Australian government doesn’t believe in global warming there either, although they have had to wake up to this phenomenon.

I know it must remind Eileen of the London Blitz in WWII when we were attacked day and night. She writes to me privately rather than social media and I ask people to send prayers and energy to those who have to sustain this horror of nature. Some of the photos she sends are beautiful in their colour and power until I realise the frightening aspect of it all.

Firefighters have played a large part in my life and they don’t get the recognition to which they have a right. I wrote an article about them some  years ago.  They risk their lives every day and I respect them.

I work with veterans and so many of them go into Police, Fire or First Responders work when they return from combat. It’s the adrenaline flow. I get it. My former son in law and my two currents sons in law, one a Marine and the other Army, all became firefighters. My former son in law did two tours of duty in Vietnam and joined the Fire department despite Agent Orange.

During  the Second World War, my uncles were taxi drivers during the day and fire fighters during the night – all seven of them. When I thank them for their service, their response is I’M JUST DOING MY JOB.

Their job description only lists what they need to know to fight fires. It doesn’t mention dedication. They learn and grow with that.

My son in law told me that the worst thing that happened to him was that he couldn’t rescue a child from a burning building in time. Sleeplessness and nightmares with PTS are common parts of their experiences as volunteers.  So they are just doing their job.

Think about this for a moment. All of you who volunteer and say the same thing – I’m just doing my job.

Volunteers are the backbone of any agency. They are dedicated to helping those who have been abused, who have suffered untold pain and agony, 24/7.

I am thinking now of Victims Services of Montgomery County. I was honored to conduct a workshop for the staff of this agency a few weeks ago. Same experiences from them; “just doing my job”.

Just doing my job includes court accompaniment, being on call, being by the side of someone who has lost a beloved to homicide, a rape victim, a child who has been abused. What do they have to do? Fund raising.

It’s astonishing that these people must create events so they can exist. When my cousin was murdered all those years ago, there was nothing around like Victims Services and today I can’t imagine a world without them. But – they are just doing their job.

Accept Your Natural Gifts

I confess I am relentless on this subject. It’s taken me years to accept that I do more than my job.

On the lighter side, after this recent training, one young counselor asked, “Why can’t we have someone like Dr. Kaye to do our quarterly training?” I responded, “There isn’t anyone like Dr. Kaye!”

Where did that sudden burst of confidence come from?

Hand reaching towards light.

It is critical that people recognise their own talents and expand on them.

It came from listening to people who for years have told me how my gifts have helped them. Yes, my gifts. It isn’t me – it’s me recognizing that I have been given talents to create encouragement for those who think they will never amount to anything. I really don’t know where that voice came from. It’s been around on other occasions too, and again this time.  I didn’t downplay myself and say, “I AM JUST DOING MY JOB”.

My friend, Patricia Gallagher, who is remarkable in her own right, said I should do a workshop on Using Your Gifts. I might just do that in the Spring.

I want to do one for women called An Evening with Dr. Kaye, who will introduce you to your golden ovaries! We hear about brass balls all the time – let’s make it ours. It’s a shame so many people do not read this blog so they won’t know what fun we will have.

I am often asked what do I do? I tell them that I introduce people to themselves. You’ll be surprised at how much you like you!

Take a moment or two to think of the people you know who have the right to recognition. We see all the celebrities being adored and worshipped, when it isn’t that they were more talented than thousands of others, it was because they were lucky being in the company of people who could help their careers.

Many people who know famous talk show hosts end up working in areas they never dreamed were possible.

It is critical that people recognise their own talents and expand on them.

The mistake people often make is that they believe healthy self worth is arrogance. George Bernard Shaw, the famous Irish playwrite said, “If you can do it, it isn’t boasting.” How true. 

So many people fall under the comparison disease, which states that they are not as good as others and they are not so advanced in what they do. A lot of this is self-inflicted and much comes from childhood when they were told they would never amount to anything.

I just saw an interview with my beloved friend Dr. Dan Newman on YouTube.  He is one of my most completely trusted friends with a similar background to my own and he was told as a child that he was rubbish, that he would do nothing with his life. Like me, he developed a “watch me” defiant personality that almost says, without saying, to these people, “That’s your opinion, just watch me.”

He judges no one and is comfortable within his own skin. What a learning journey he had to endure to get there and he too believes that he must share his journey with those who are in pain so they know, they too, can achieve anything. He is a Veteran and a friggin’ genius when it comes to loving people into sobriety. I have never heard him say, “It’s just my job.”

Circle of hands touching.
” This is my wish for people. That they learn they are worth love, peace and joy, together with excellent health. “‘

Creative Ways to Do Your Job

One video I saw years ago was of a Police Officer directing traffic. I think it was in New York but I’m not sure. In his job description was a list of challenges required of a Police Officer. In his case, he was a traffic cop.

At a very busy intersection where traffic was coming from all areas, he started to dance. He pointed to one area to let cars through and then another. There were five altogether. He wasn’t trained at the Police Academy to dance, so he decided to expand his official duties in this manner. What it achieved was the traffic moved smoother under his care and the drivers who had to wait their turn, were laughing, smiling, and thoroughly enjoying the experience. So…………….it wasn’t just his job. It was a creative method of avoiding chaos.

There are so many people who come into that category of creativity. Who thought Edie Weinstein, the now famous “Hugmobster”, would hit the press with hugging people?

Who  thought that Patricia Gallagher would be interviewed because she gets donated flowers and goes all over the place to give some love to people who don’t have any?

She drives into dangerous parts of the city with her 95-year-old companion, Ellen, who thinks it is great fun. I met Ellen last week. She has her wits about her. We were sitting in the diner and she said to Patricia, referring to me, that I was so pretty – really beautiful. I thought that was lovely until later on she told me she can’t see! What a friggin’ hoot.

You Are Beautiful

One of my other heroes, Stash Serafin, who has been blind from birth and is a champion ice skater who teaches sighted people, always tells me I look gorgeous. I am not arguing with that. I was told from a child that I was pleasant.  You don’t tell a little girl she is pleasant.  

You can find him on YouTube as well, with one of his skating videos. He is an incredibly spiritual man and hilarious. It isn’t just his job.

When I present at various places I talk about beauty as it seems to be so desirable in this culture. I tell people if they are pretty or handsome, it is genetic and they did nothing to earn that. Their inner beauty is what matters and that’s what I help them reach. It is like a flower blossoming.

I hate war but I will always defend the warriors because they don’t make the wars. Politicians do. They send these amazing people out to do their dirty work. Service people do not receive the kudos to which they have a right. Note that I don’t use the word deserve – it means you have to earn it.

Keeping people safe means, one has the right to the life they desire.

This is my wish for people. That they learn they are worth love, peace and joy, together with excellent health.

I Respect You

I work with some of the most optimistic people at Gilda’s Club (Google it). The workshop twice a month is called Laughing when Nothing Seems Funny and When It Is. These people are either in remission from cancer, being treated for cancer, some who know nothing else can be done, care-sharers or like me, has lost a beloved to cancer. They are hilarious and they love one another. They support and care for each other. There are couples there who allow us to see their love for one another and it is a beautiful sight. I love them dearly.

In bringing this to a close I realised I could write an entire blog just mentioning names of people who inspire me – just their names. I am so blessed to have them in my life and to those who do not have this kind of friendship or connection as I do, it wasn’t always like this.

I believe one has to be a friend to have a friend. Friendship is one of the highest forms of love. I have a friend, Jill, who lives in Canada. We practically grew up together. She is a bereaved mother and grandmother. When we speak it is as if nothing wrong has ever happened in our lives. We don’t talk often and when we do all the stress leaves for that moment. Our friendship is over eighty years old. Her daughter, a bereaved mother, is one of the most courageous women I know. She is my Stephanie, my niece by wishing.

Think about this. The next time you compliment someone, and they say, “I’m just doing my job”, challenge them.  It will be worth it. Like when Dr. Leo Buscaglia, the author of the book LOVE, complimented a bad-tempered taxi driver in New York for getting him to his destination safely.

It is so easy to say, “I really respect you and thank you.” Like the famous painting by Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio, called Amor Vincit Omnia, which means “Love Conquers All”.

Adult hands holding an infants fingers.
“Love Conquers All”

3 Comments

  • Dan Newman

    My Dear Yvonne, I am humbled once again to be mentioned in your Wisdom Blog let alone listed as one of your most trusted friends. As they’ve said “truer words have not been spoken”! LOL Thank you for your on going support and friendship and I can not wait to see you on my spring visit. I hope to be able to visit when I can tag along with you to your Gilda’s Club workshop. I still remember attending when on my last trip and they are such beautifully powerful, strong, and loving women and I sincerely hope the one women did take a big sub sandwich home to her husband! LOL An inside joke friends! Take care and will be knocking on your door sooner than we both realize.

  • snuggleyoga

    Ahhhh, Yvonne…you ARE gawgeous. Both Ella and Stash see you with the eyes of the heart. The rest of us are lucky to see you with our visual senses. Glad to be on the same team as you and the others you mentioned. <3

  • Robyn Pennay

    So many good words. I’m so proud of you for always learning, being open to everything. So many of us know your worth well, and your coming to know it is wonderful. I miss you. Be well and conquer.

Go ahead and talk to me.

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