Right now I feel I’m working an 80 hour a week job, but only getting paid for 40. My other “job” is non-paying, and in fact I spend money at it. Classes in being a facilitator aren’t cheap. Materials aren’t either. Books, drums, paint, canvas, beads all add up. This doesn’t even add in all the time I’m spending learning how to do this thing I don’t even have a name for yet.
I don’t want to charge people to help them. That is part of the appeal of the library. Anybody can come in and get what they need to educate or entertain themselves for free. It is open to everybody. Sadly though, it is more entertainment than education that happens. Sadly, more movies and romance novels are checked out than books on how to make life better – either for themselves or others.
I feel like I’m selling panaceas. I feel like I’m pushing palliative care. The vast majority of people are getting something to ease their pain and bide their time. They aren’t living life – they are escaping it, enduring it. I feel like a sober person working in a bar. I can see through things now, and it hurts.
Doctors swear to “do no harm” and while I’ve not made that same oath officially, I have in my heart. While I’m not encouraging people to get things that are wasting their time, I’m not encouraging them to get anything else either. I’m not allowed to suggest, really, because I’m not a librarian. That requires a Master’s in Library Science. I check in and check out materials. I get you your library card. I serve, and I solve some problems. I’m a facilitator there – I make things easy for them. Facilitators make things easy. But I have an issue with “easy” versus “good”.
“Easy” is getting ten movies to watch at home while you are nursing a hangover, or depressed because you are lonely. “Good” would be learning what you are trying to escape from and working on that. But that is hard. That requires real work. Soul-work is painful. It is like doing surgery on yourself without anesthesia. But the final result is healing and wholeness and harmony. The final result is clearing out the pus of the infection that is bad coping skills and bad habits.
There is too much pain in the world, and it is all avoidable. I can’t wait until people are ready to be healed. People say that the alcoholic won’t change until he’s ready to change. Meanwhile, should I keep giving him booze? I feel that I am doing this every time I see someone check out more time-wasting materials. I see the same people in every few days, getting the maximum number of DVDs or an armload of mindless romance novels. Sure, everybody needs a diversion every now and then. But when all you do is diversion, then you are never going straight on into life.
Entertainment and distraction shouldn’t be the main course. Dessert isn’t filling or fulfilling. Of course, I feel the same way about going to a buffet, but I don’t work there. Half the food is healthy, half is deadly. Too much of the good stuff isn’t good either.
“I set before you a blessing and a curse” God says. We have free will to choose every moment of our lives. I just feel like I’m being an enabler when I help people check out things that are more like a curse than a blessing.
I want to help people wake up to the wonder and beauty of life. I’m trained in processes that help people dig down deep, getting in touch with their true selves. There isn’t a way to do that at the front desk. Perhaps I can ask to teach classes at work? Then my “other job” and my “real job” will start to merge. Libraries are all about the free flow of information and communication. What is more basic than being able to communicate with your own self?