Trading your Birthright for a Bowl of Porridge

“Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness.” – L. Tom Perry (In his last talk, before he passed away.)

I know I have quoted this before, but I wanted to make a post about it. Since Satan wants us to be miserable like he is, he is working on making sure that family is not the center of anyone’s life. So, he convinces us to trade our birthright (family happiness) for a bowl of porridge (our career). Unfortunately, somewhere a non-scriptural doctrine got introduced into Mormon culture that says that you need to “work hard” to get to the Celestial Kingdom. Where is that in the scriptures? It wasn’t one of Christ’s main doctrines.

Now, I am not saying that you should be lazy, nor that you shouldn’t work hard, but who are you working hard for? And, are you really working hard? Just because you put in long hours at the office doesn’t mean you are working hard. In fact, putting in long hours at the office is probably trying to avoid the “hard work” of raising kids and dealing with women.

I have lots of co-workers who really believe in “hard work”. One, for example, loves to pride himself on how many hours he puts in the office. Of course, when you go into his office to talk to him, you see his browser open with 20-30 different tabs of ESPN, CNN, FOX News, and other waste of time sites. Unfortunately, he never had time for his daughter. When his daughter was around 10 years old, my wife worked with her. She talked about how she never saw her dad, and that her mom didn’t get home until 5 or 6, and that she was pretty lonely after school. Needless to say, as a teenager she got sent off to live with someone else for 8 months. Not just one time, but twice. (And if you don’t get it, that is the amount of time a girl would want to hide her pregnancy.) Oh, did I mention she had a drug problem too?

Anyway, this co-worker is quite a bit older than me, so when I first met him, I used to look up to him. But, as I got to know him better, I started to see how miserable this man truly is. Sure, he’s been in stake presidencies, and in high up positions at work (something he prides himself in), but none of that made him happy. Of all of his kids, he only has one that will produce any posterity in the church. If that wasn’t enough, he still tries to shame me for refusing to work as hard as he does.

Now, did my co-worker really work hard? He was so overweight that he blew out both of his knees and hips. One thing I do give him credit for is actually losing the weight, but the damage has been done. He has lots of praise from his career, but it is pretty easy to tell that he used his career as a way to avoid the hard work of raising his kids and dealing with his wife. On Saturday, he was in his office. On Sunday, he was holding church meetings. On evenings, he was in his office. On early mornings, he was in his office. I doubt that, besides vacations, he really interacted much with his kids. He was too fat to play ball with them, taking them to a water park, or even to the mall, was probably exhausting for him.

So, now all of his kids are out of the house, all he has to show for his life is his “career accomplishments”. If that doesn’t sound like trading his birthright for a bowl of porridge, I don’t know what is. My wife and a few of my co-worker’s wives got together once, and all of the wives started bragging about how many hours their husbands put in at the office. Guess who lost. That’s right, me. Instead of bragging about how much time you put in at the office, brag about how much time you spend enjoying your birthright.

So, how do you manage to get a job that supports a family and gives you time to be with them?

  1. Choose a career that is actually worth something (and hopefully something you can enjoy). You are much more likely to get paid more when you are accomplishing something people actually need. There are a lot of worthless people in the corporate world who think they are really important. But if they just disappeared one day, how many people would notice?
  2. Don’t strive to clime the corporate ladder. Do you really want to be a manager, who has even more time wasting meetings and BS to deal with? Just do your job really well. Hopefully, your company will see your value and keep you where you can be at your best.
  3. Make sure the job includes flex-time. You should be able to re-arrange your hours so you can spend more time with your kids. You will be more productive that way. Any company that doesn’t allow this is probably mismanaged and not worth wasting your time working for.
  4. Live within your means, which will mean telling your wife that you don’t need a bigger house, or a newer car. You should be managing the budget. If not, grow a pair and take over. FYI, nothing says loser (and unattractive husband) more than being in debt. Married men in large amounts of debt don’t get a lot of sexual attention from their wives. Thrifty men, with a well followed budget who aren’t afraid to tell their wives “no” do.

If you are working long hours, you’re probably miserable. You better have a plan to get more time off. Life is too short to dedicate most of your waking hours just to become a cubicle slave. (And to think that Satan and his feminist minions have convinced almost all women that being anything less than a cubicle slave is worthless.) Think about it, when you are 10 years past retirement, are your career achievements really going to mean that much to you?

Hopefully, as you’re getting old and lonely, you will have a lifetime of full of memories with your wife and kids. What could be better? Don’t let Satan trick you into working even an hour more than you need to. It won’t pay off. But an hour with your kids, playing ball, or swimming, or even playing video games, now that is worth it. An hour sitting next to your wife talking about the joys of life, now that is worth it. An hour being intimate wife your wife, now that is worth it. If you have put in more that 8 hours a day working, even if you have the time to be with your family, you’re probably too tired to make the most of it.

If your not there, the time to change is now! It’s time to stop working hard, and start working smart, that way you can play hard with your family.

 

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