How to Change the World

I’ve joked for a while about how I’d love to send a resume/cover letter to the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) that highlighted how entirely useless and lazy I am, figuring that’d make me perfect for any job they have there.

The story behind this is that I have worked extensively with the DHS, both for myself and for people I served whilst working as a peer support specialist. I have had nearly universally bad experiences with them. I won’t get into it here, but my experiences with them are so incredibly bad in so many ways that I’ve collected a number of funny stories that I tell to people who are frustrated with the government in general. In light of this, I relished the idea of mocking them from a troll email account.

My girlfriend was moderately annoyed that I suggested doing this. She pointed out to me that I don’t know their story or what they deal with. If I were particularly unlucky, the email might go to someone who was on the verge of giving up on trying to make it a better system, and I could push them over the edge, into despair. At the very least, such a letter would do nothing but make the readers of it unhappy.

To be honest, I really have no clue what it’s like to work for DHS. I’ve heard vague rumors that it’s a horrible job of being legendarily overworked. That insane level of overwork may be the reason the workers are effectively useless to their clients.

I suppose my desire to “troll” DHS was a bit sadistic when I think about it. To be sure, this is natural. I’ve not only been hurt by the system, but also seen others get hurt by it. The natural thing is to want to lash out and hurt them back. But this is not the Way. It doesn’t take a religious person to realize that being a jerk to strangers is no way to live your life.

Our Lord commanded us to “turn the other cheek” when slapped. I don’t think this is about getting walked all over. I think this might be about changing the world. If someone strikes you, and you are kind in return, would not they be at least somewhat confused by this? I fought my family and my friends. I was extremely cruel to them when I was sick and tormented. They were kind in response and loved me. This provided an environment where I was safe to become a better man; I don’t fight people any more. I can pay this forward and maybe someone else, when treated the way I was treated, will even change their life, like I did.

Thank you, my friends, for giving me wisdom when I wanted to behave unwisely. Thank you for this lesson, dear Sucrose.


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