In about an hour or so i am going to head off to a local school to read a Maths exam to a pupil with a learning disability or challenge.
While for me it is largely about having some kind of way of bringing in some money in, during a time when i have been mostly unemployed [since about November when i stopped the official freelance writing i was doing for that awful ‘Christian’ online mag that treated its writers like garbage] it also does feel like quite a significant occupation of my time.
There is a learner who struggles to write exams on her own and i am going to assist her. i could definitely be doing worse things with my time.
A LITTLE BIT CAMP
The previous two weekends before this past one [my friend Fezile would probably say “last of last weeks”] i was super fortunate to be part of two incredible camps that both took place at Cape Town’s premier campsite, Rocklands, in Simonstown.
The first was with BottomUp who are a small group of leaders who are doing incredible things in a number of schools in the Cape Flats [you can read about some of my connections with there over here and here] and it involved about 50 high school pupils who are members of their school RCL [Representative Council of Learners] bodies from four different schools who came together to be equipped and challenged to be more effective in their schools [just hearing stories of what has happened in two of the schools since camp, this definitely made an impact!]
The second was with another incredible organisation called Life Matters and this time was with about 120 grade sevens from three different schools in the Flats working more specifically on life skills such as choices and integrity, while also dealing with personal, family and community issues they were being faced with. Ah, i just saw their slogan for the first time – We make the things that really matter, matter. That is so great.
Two very significant weekends and definitely felt like i was being used in a small way with a bigger team of people who were pouring such goodness into our present and future leaders and helping provide greater hope and opportunity for children in areas that are often discounted or discredited or avoided altogether.
Killing the Powerpoint
Tomorrow is the last training session that i will be doing alongside my friend Charles [until someone else hires us to do some more] and that has been a lot of fun. Charles is a recruiter for the mining industry and runs his own company This particular job involved training some IT and Telecommunications people and typically this kind of training has been done on Powerpoint and so is pretty monotonous and can get boring. Charles brought me on board to add some Improv and youth games experience into the mix so that we could make the training more engaging and even fun [it has been a lot of fun!] and we worked really well together. He brought the content and i brought the zing!
Some significance in this in terms of helping Charles out in his relatively new business [he has been doing this stuff for decades but recently branched out into his own company] and we are helping people do their jobs a lot better and so that feels good too. Not as transformative in terms of some of the other stuff, but at the end of the day has helped pay some bills which is always one of the things you gotta do.
And then there’s the stuff ‘n things
Then there is a whole lot of other stuff i do – conversations online and offline, dinners, engagements with people on topics of race and poverty and looking after the planet and a whole lot of other stuff that really feels quite significant but completely doesn’t pay any of the bills. How do i find paying work without sacrificing the space and time to continue to do the things that feel meaningful?
As i sit in a space again of needing to find more things that do pay the bills, i am wrestling with this idea of significance. Is there meaning in what i do? Will i be able to find paying work that also contains significance?
How about you? Do you find your paying work significant in any way? What about other things that you are involved in? Is significance something you think much about?