Hopefully, you’ve had a great Labor Day weekend if you’re here in the United States! It seems apropos to talk about the value of hard work and the necessity of maintaining work ethics by talking about the obvious attempt to shame a man for actually working hard to earn a living for his family and himself. Apparently, some news outlets (which I will not name here, but they are posted within this article) actually ran an article that showed Geoffrey Owens, an actor who – practically a lifetime ago – was a minor recurring character on The Cosby Show. Apparently, he currently works as a cashier at a Trader Joe’s grocery store. The intention of the article was not to inform, but to publicly shame and humiliate a man who is simply making an honest living. 

I have a HUGE problem with this. My blog topics may be somewhat sporadic, but my ultimate goal is to focus on the basic necessities for nurturing the human spirit – happiness, love, and light. It’s a shame that I have to add DECENCY to this list of basics. What in the world would posses a person to take a photo of someone hard at work – and then distribute it to news media outlets? What kind of “news” outlet picks this story up, and gives such a negative spin to what is ultimately a wonderful example for young men and women EVERYWHERE?

There is NO shame in working to make an honest living. Period.

NEVER Be Ashamed of the Work You Do

Fortunately, once the story had gained enough traction, many actors and other celebrities were quick to jump on Twitter to defend Mr. Owens. They shared stories of their own struggles to make ends meet, and the fact that Geoffrey Owens is a working actor with a day job. Because of this – and only because of this outpouring of support and candidness from his peers, did the media’s negative narrative finally make a positive spin on this “story”.

For those of us who are in the Creative or Performing Arts, a vast majority of us understand exactly what it means to have (or need) a day job: It means that you are true to yourself and your craft by working in that field as much as you can afford, and you also work a “day job”, something that your heart is less committed to than your craft, in order to pay the bills.

The fact that the abhorrent person who took this man’s picture without his consent disturbs me to no end. I don’t wish to include my picture on social media because I believe in the right to privacy. My students and clients are not specifically invited to this little corner of my world. Will this always be the case? Of course not. As I devote more time to this job, circumstances will change to a point where a face needs to appear with a name. Until that point, however, I hope to have a choice as to what picture defines who “I” am. This man was robbed of his right to privacy, his right to anonymously do the honorable thing of pushing pride aside and working a non-glamourous job for a steady paycheck. Shame on that person who tried to dishonor a fellow human being.

How Glamorous is Your Life?

Seriously, I am so livid about this. This kind of “above/below your station” mentality is exactly the reason why I am so committed to the Arts. It’s also the reason why I earned my Ph.D. in an unrelated field. I love to cross paths and connect dots. It takes credibility in this world to convince others of what may seem obvious to you, and that was the path I was led to take. The only way that we can remind each other of the beauty and simplicity of EVERY DAY LIFE is if we are taught to see ourselves in the every day lives of others, regardless of race, gender, culture, self-identification, or creed. If only we can retain those lessons!

What glamorous life are you truly living? Doing our best to lead one of Grace and kindness is so much more appealing.

Sending Love, Light, and a sense of Decency to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

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