Here I Am, World…USE ME!
Believe what you will. You can read the Thirteenth Amendment and dissect every word if you want. But the majority of the world’s population still banks on the concept of slave labor. They want you (and me) to believe we need them: That we need their jobs, approval, and fringe benefits. They want us to believe that without them, we have no security. We simply cannot survive without their blessing us or feeding us. We should therefore hearken ourselves and cry, Here I Am World! USE ME!
And most of us, at some point or another, have bought into this philosophy. Whether our load was too heavy or our fears were too great, we set aside our integrity and personal convictions and cried, Here I am World! USE ME! And that’s exactly what they did. It’s exactly what they do today.
They come up with concepts like 401K, competitive salary, and opportunity for growth to lure you in. Not long after that, they shackle you. Gone are the promises they made to you on interview day! The goal is to not only build their empire on your knowledge and expertise (aka, your back), but to give the credit to specially placed individuals within the corporation. Nine-times-out-of-ten, these individuals are not even qualified.
Don’t believe anything I’m saying? Someone tell me how you go from being a nanny or bus boy to a manager of a specialized operation! Or how in most applications for employment, there’s a clause which grants the employer full rights to any patent, trademark, or process you come up with. When you sign on with these companies, you no longer own yourself or your mind. You work as long as they tell you to—sometimes through your lunch break. The idea is to make life miserable enough for you to keep working (thinking you will someday be rewarded for it), but comfortable enough that you’d dare look for greener pastures.
If you give me peace of mind and a sense of job security, I will give you my talent, dreams, and best years of my life! Here I Am World! USE ME!
Make no mistake: This isn’t some fly-by-night mentality. It’s bigger than an Employer’s Market, and has endured much longer than the recession of the last few years. The world as we know it was shaped on the principle of indentured servitude: Depriving human beings of decency, respect and honest wage. I’m all for opportunity and good fortune, but WILL NOT be used to fuel it for someone else.
Eventually you have to draw the line. We cannot always base our decisions on money or survival. Would Steve Jobs have stood for anyone stealing his ideas and disrespecting him in the work place? Would Reginald Lewis have settled for less and allow people talk to him any kind of way? Then neither will I.
No matter what it costs me; no matter the trials or tribulations that wait because of this way of thinking, I REFUSE to let the world use me. I refuse to allow myself or my talent to become the contents of the next guy’s pockets. I refuse to become anyone’s indentured servant. HELL NO! I am free and can do much better, and would rather starve than to let the world use me.
This is your Monday Unleaded for the week of August 25, 2013. Have a productive week!
Use Me – Bill Withers