Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chatting - Of more value than money.

I was in a conversation at a fire station today when the average wage was talked about. If what they say is true I am paid well under the average wage and much less than the guys I was talking with. But I still drove away from that conversation and back to my office feeling like a lucky man. I had visited the Ambulance headquarters at lunch time and had been around three fire stations since afternoon tea time. I felt extremely privileged to be doing my job.

I had "good" warm significant conversations at each place. People talked about their jobs, their future, their health, their family's health, community issues and generally I felt that I was accepted. I felt a deep sense of privilege that these people let me into their lives.

Don't get me wrong, it is quite tiring hard work. At both St John Ambulance and fire stations they are going through change and restructuring. I feel for the people involved. I came away from the Ambulance feeling sad for people there because I listened to disappointed and angry people. People told me about or asked me about difficult situations they were facing in life. It is tiring and emotionally draining work listening. But it also gives me a this deep sense of privilege, worth and "belonging" that is a reward in itself that money cannot buy. This afternoon I enjoyed good conversation.

"All you do is wander around talking!" sometimes people say in a derogatory way of my chaplaincy work. Yep, that is all I do, but in doing that I am doing something immensely valuable and participating in one of the most precious experiences of life.

1 comment:

Linda Myers said...

I think people would be more content if they had a place to go to be completely listened to. What a service you're doing!