We all have a price. Just ask Lindsay Lohan.
Most of us would do pretty much anything for those we love. Sacrifice for love is an act of nobility and honor.
What about when we do it for the money?
I have to ask myself: how many times have I sold myself out for money? A lot.
Every time I took a job that was beneath me but the money was good, I sold out.
Each time I worked for disrespectful jerks but the money was good, I sold out.
Doing jobs that went against what I believed in, for the money, was a major sell out.
I didn’t know then what I know now. That selling out was valiant.
I always thought that agreeing to a job just for the money made me a bit of a loser. Where was my integrity? I can tell you where it wasn’t. It wasn’t sitting in the dark or going hungry or doing without. It was providing for my family.
I was the one who was willing to eat crow so my kid could go to camp, have a good Christmas or go on that field trip. I was the one who took crap jobs to keep the utilities on and the mortgage paid. I was the one who sold out to keep everything else together.
I’m no hero, that’s for sure. But I think sometimes we just need to suck it up. I can guarantee you that when you meet a 75 year old waitress; that wasn’t her life plan. Don’t pity her; admire her. She is getting it done and taking care of herself the best she can for the moment. How can doing what she needs to do to live be a sell out? It isn’t.
I recently ran into a friend working as a retail clerk. For most of her life she was a topnotch highly paid professional. In these precarious times she found herself without work. She was embarrassed to be seen selling perfumes and cosmetics. I was embarrassed for her. She explained to me that her husband also lost his job and they needed the health insurance. It was all she could get for the moment. On my drive home I thought about how much I admired her for being able to swallow her pride in order to keep her family insured and a roof over their heads. Some would say she sold herself short. I say she is being brave, smart and humble. I’ve always known she was the former but I have a strong hunch she is new to the world of humble. Eating a piece of humble pie is good for all of us. Best we remember where we came from as we look to where we are going. Judgment has no place in the real world anymore, yet most of us can’t resist. Too bad, as pity little good comes from it.
If you have to depend on social programs that’s okay, they are there to offer a helping hand. I’ve collected unemployment and for a brief time in my life I also collected food stamps. Neither was awesome but it was, as I reminded myself every stinking day, only temporary. And therein lies the rub. Never become so complacent in your situation that you never change it.
Selling out for the greater good is a noble act. But it should be a short term deal. Living up to our own expectations, following our own dreams is what we need to get back to a soon as possible. I try to keep my eye on the prize; and as life has shown me, the prize has rarely been money.
And so, if you find yourself on the wrong end of your self esteem because you feel you have sold out in a big way, I urge you to reconsider and look at the big picture. Chances are pretty good you’re doing the right thing for right now.
Everything has a price and we will almost always pay it. The real question is: is it worth it?
I can tell you this: you paying me a million bucks to pose nude for a magazine cover, definitely not worth it.
That being said, I’m open to all offers.