I am a federal employee on furlough. When your work defines you, it is easy to think,”I am my job.” In a story I read recently, someone asked Bill Russell if he was Bill Russell, the basketball player. He told the fan no he was not. His team mate said yes you are. Russell said, I am Bill Russell and I also play basketball. I am more than just a basketball player.” In the case of a furlough I, and many of my colleagues, are forbidden to work. The projects I am working on, the classes I teach, the groups that I facilitate, are all put on hold. Said to be unessential. If I define myself by what I do, then I’d be lost. We are what we do. And we are so much more. Essential is defined by our Federal rules as protecting life or property. So what is truly essential? What defines a person? What defines a life? There was a salmonella outbreak in California poultry plant. My dad called me to tell me about it. He said, this is from Congress playing “Chicken” to see who flinches first. Real people are paying a mighty high price of their health because of the brinksmanship on the Hill. What threat to life and property does the tainted chicken represent?
The birds are eating apple pieces out of our hands and sitting on our heads and shoulders. It has been said that food is love. If that is so, then what really matters? Oh, and to be on the safe side, make sure you cook your chicken to 165 degrees F. Because, while food may be love, contaminated food is not.