Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is it a calling?

I have an unusual job.  I help people get divorced.  I work in family crisis day in and day out.  I am buried, nay smothered in daily drama.

Why would anyone sign on for this misery?

Some in my profession appear to posit that their's is a calling, that they are led to this line of work in the same way that preachers are.  And like preachers, they claim passion and deeply held, fervent beliefs.  They hold convictions and operate from dogma about how things must be.  Their client's lives become testaments to the attorney's convictions.  And the family drama plays out in moralistic terms, good versus evil and righteousness must prevail.  There is the victor and there must be the vanquished.

I definitely like what I do.  I don't want to do anything else, work wise.  I'm drawn to the Courtroom, not because it is my life's mission but because I'm good at it.  And I'm good at it because I like a good, serious legal contest.  I'm good at it because I care to be.  And I like what I do because I find meaning in helping real people obtain real solutions for real problems.  What's not to like about that? Family law fits me. 

I would hope that everyone should be able to make a living, doing what they enjoy.  It makes life richer.

But I don't hold dogmatic positions.  I don't pass judgment.  I don't exact my principles on my client's lives.  I do bring all my talents to bear on their issues.  I make solutions.

I'm not a preacher. I'm not a saint.  I'm not a voluteer.  I'm a mercenary.  I am well paid to be successful for my clients.  I am paid to advocate for their interests and paid to tell them the truth. 

So if you want someone to be a bishop over your life, to tilt at the windmills of their own past in your present, I'm not for you.  If you want to fix a problem, come see me.

So, is family law my calling?  No.  It's my business.

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