On being useful

June 7, 2012 at 10:59 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

When I applied for my first ever grownup job, I did something that is basically forbidden to job seekers today. I admitted to my future boss that I wanted to be of use. (To hell with the masters degree that wouldn’t get me more than 9k a year at the time. I wanted to Do Something Useful, and get more for it.)

I was hired, and went on to do things rather more than ‘useful.”

But what do you do when the earning-a-paycheck kind of useful disappears? (or a job has always been impossible to find, in the case of some with disabilities.)

We’re lucky to be around now, with Internet and social media….It’s easier for us to find something to invest time in these days than say 20 years back.

1. If family members or friends ask you for help or advice with something, and it’s within your power to do so, jump on that. Relationships are tough to manage sometimes, and they’ll be easier if you have a history of readiness to help.

2. Volunteer your time somewhere.
There are so many advocacy organizations that need help…even the advocacy organizations ostensibly out there to help persons with disabilities…it’s risky sometimes, flying in the face of the perceptions of the ‘pros’ in one of these places, but there is something really warming about using time that way.

3. Be a listening ear (or a social media contact.) for friends or family going through difficult days. It costs little in physical effort.

The downside? If there’s really toxic drama involved…then any benefit from helping the person might be offset badly by the emotional climate of your inbox or cell phone or FB page.

4. Network: Community groups, churches, senior centers etc are places to learn about ‘useful’ things to do…and meet new folks.

A side benefit to all this is that it can play a role in limiting depression.

Having an established routine — fighting idleness, will also be as decent for you as for anyone you might help..

And stay the heck away from anybody that wants to get on your case for being on ‘entitlements.’

There’s more than one way to be a positive part of society, and people who namecall anyone on government assistance just aren’t helping….Flee that sort of rhetoric whenever possible.

And if all of the above are outside your capabilities.
No fuzzy affirmations, but,

Each and every person has value…not something inflated or deflated that your mind makes up, but the value you accrue just by being a human being.

Make sure you’re clear on that…
and if anyone isn’t with that program….heh.

Send them over here and I’ll tell ’em they’re wrong.



  1. bridgett said,

    You are more than useful. You are beautiful, decent, unreasonably funny, clever, wise, and deeply appreciated.

    • imfunny2 said,

      You know what I like best about this? The “unreasonably funny” part. *That’s* going on Facebook.

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