What I Did For a Career

March 18, 2021

The things I like to do very much was consulting with school teachers and nurses to identify children who had amblyopia ex anopsia–lazy eye is the short term. If I could identify them or we could identify them before the age of seven, surgery could correct that lazy eye. And that was very satisfying, to do that with children. After two years, I just decided to leave. I was kind of overwhelmed with the bureaucracy of the state department. So I left and first I went to Europe for a while, and then when I came back, I went to Mankato State University to get my master’s in vocational rehabilitation counseling.

So then I worked with clients who were physically, mentally and/or emotionally disabled toward vocational planning. And the goal was to work toward each client’s maximum potential. I really liked that philosophy. So as a voc rehab counselor, I took the history of the client’s medical condition and their work history and so forth, and I offered testing of various kinds, intelligence testing, interest testing, psychological testing, and that all combined with counseling and toward vocational planning and specific steps to employment.

So the wonderful thing about this work was that I had comrades. We lifted each other up because the work we were doing was…well, it could be heavy at times, and so we helped each other. We had these wild skits. One skit… Oh, I am a very sensitive soul and I was a bulldog, no, a bloodhound. That was a different life too, a bloodhound and my acute… So I had some Lysol because this one client really did not bathe, so I would spray it. Well in the skit, Pete, one of my coworkers, came in with a tank t-shirt, and he had wigs under each arm, black wigs, and then he pulled…or somebody else pulled out the spray and sprayed him. That was directed at me. You know, we were always doing things like that. Anyway. the other part about that is it was like a MASH unit.

We all got along and we had a variety of interesting characters there. Well, in the 12th year of my time there, we were mandated to work with the most severely disabled in order to get federal funding. So what happened is that people who weren’t ready for vocational planning were referred, and three clients that were referred to me committed suicide in that one year. And so I just got kind of crispy and I decided to make a change. So I took my counseling skills and I learned a new body of knowledge. I became a certified financial planner and an investment advisor. And in 25 years, nobody jumped off a bridge or, you know went AWOL or whatever. And my work was to assist clients toward financial independence. I moved several times during my marriage and the clients actually came with me. And that was a pleasant surprise to me because even when I lived in Hawaii, they were…well, I could work remotely, so it all worked out.

The next thing I wanna talk about is how these two careers influenced me. Oh, I forgot to say as a heading, when I first started, altruism versus capitalism. So the first career was a heavy altruism and the second career was a combination. But I used capitalism to assist people toward financial independence. Anyway, how my careers influenced me. I learned the importance of compassion for disabled persons without taking on their journey. And that was over several years. I had to learn that. One thing that helped me was that I have a belief that before we incarnated on this earth plane, we all committed to having certain experiences for our soul’s evolution.

And the other thing that I realized, having to do with my first career, was we are all temporarily able-bodied. We’re going to run into challenges throughout our life, and so we can develop a philosophy about what that means, and embrace it as a, you know, part of a dance in life, the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, and so on. As a certified financial planner, I was influenced in several ways. I’ve shared this before. I’ve shared it with my clients. There are no U-Hauls full of money or earthly belongings traveling or trailing behind the hearse on the way to heaven. So the idea is to use the money for good.

The other thing I used to say is the only real currency we have in life is our time and our energy and our love, which is a form of energy. And what matters is how we spend our time and our energy. And also money is a form of energy. It’s best to keep it flowing, keep it moving. We can use our money for good while we’re here on earth. You all know that there are serious imbalances that exist on this earth plane from extreme poverty to extreme wealth. We can choose to embrace working for the common good, especially in our own communities. So I just wanna say that altruism and capitalism can work together to good effect in our world should we choose to do so.

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