I was outside with my son yesterday evening, raking the lawn with my son. Did I say that right? No, I wasn't using him as a rake. We each used the appropriate tools for the job. While we worked, we chatted.
"Dad," my son said, "I don't think I would want to do this for a living."
That led us to a lengthy discussion about work in general, about types of work, developing a work ethic and, most importantly, respecting work of any kind. I have more respect for someone who digs ditches or cleans toilets for a living than for someone who is too lazy to work and who lives as a sponge on society's largesse instead.
My son has his mind set (for the moment) on becoming a businessman like his dad but, no doubt, on a grander scale. I think he would be a good businessman, but will leave his ultimate career decisions to him. At age 13, he has a long time ahead to make his choices. Still, it would be fun to work together in business. Much of what I am planning to do over the next several years is in preparation for having something to do for a younger, more energetic partner, just in case.
We have recently started to watch the TV series "24," and have gone so far as to rent past seasons so that we could catch up with the earlier adventures of Jack Bauer. It's all great fun to watch, but is hardly representative of any reality I know. During our conversation last evening, my son allowed that were he not so determined to become a businessman, he might instead consider being a government agent like Jack Bauer.
Now, that is something I wouldn't like much. I know that such a scenario is highly unlikely for my son, but I still find it scary. In my opinion, police and other enforcement agencies attract a disproportionate number of bullies who love being able to tell people what to do. Not all police officers are bullies of course, but I have certainly run into my share of those who are.
In general, my experience is that police neither serve nor protect. I'll save tirades on the subject for another time, but will say that many officers do not think of themselves as our servants. In fact, they think quite the opposite. Police also cannot possibly protect you or me from being robbed, assaulted or killed. Usually, by the time the police arrive, the damage is done. The real problem then becomes trying to get them to find and arrest the culprits, and the judicial system to convict and imprison them.
So... Jack Bauer or Jack Welch? My preference would be the latter.