Monday, September 08, 2003


I've been thinking about the word impressed. Admittedly this pseudo-philosphical musing had a rather meager start, I actually noticed the impression my pillow made in my face after I came home exhausted and took an extensive nap. It was an impressive impression, which means that as soon as I hit the pillow I didn't move. That's if you don't count drool as body movement and I'm fairly certain drool falls under the category of secretions not movement. So far I haven't stooped to writing about secretions, but there are no guarantees here; that warning up front.

Anyway, I had Amy polish up my resume, bio, and other associated materials that are required for the position I've recently applied for and I thought, "You know, my credentials are fairly impressive."

It helps being fond of writing...making up stuff comes so easy.

Actually, I look at the materials and wonder if although the lists of accomplishments might seem impressive, do they truly reflect me?-Who I am?

Certainly my resume outlines the basics of my career, and my bio gives a brief glimpse into some other areas of my life. The letter of recommendation from my Pastor shows some insight into my spirituality, at least the real letter. The first letter he handed me, which included a line assuring my possible future employer that my past criminal offenses shouldn't be an issue since "yours is not an agricultural school, right?", reminded me that I should add "proof reading skills" to my resume.

These are merely pieces of paper though. Two dimensional accounts. Perhaps flattering, but still flat.

These documents contain truth, but it is a truth that is sanitized. Unscathed. Unscarred.

They don't show the bags under my eyes.

They don't reflect the toll taken upon my thoughts by years of starting each day seeking out details of the misfortunes of others.

Worse yet, they don't reflect the all too familiar glee I have honestly felt upon realizing that, despite the horror of an event I had uncovered, I was relieved with the knowledge that, "at least we have a lead story."

These recaps don't reflect the sacrifices my wife and family have made since the day they met me to accept a man whose work hours and requirements rob them of time and too often of an even temperament.

But I suppose the documents will make a good first impression, and that's what they're supposed to do. If there are personal follow ups to this exercise in career expansion I can hopefully add a few dimensions to it all.

Thank God for that opportunity. I wouldn't want anyone to think they knew me based on these written accounts of accomplishment and accolade.

It may be hard to believe considering how wordy I've already been, but these thoughts today expanded beyond me.

I started thinking about the impression our country makes upon the world. Not our military might. Not our political bluster. Something much more pervasive and probably much more influential. Our media.

When people overseas see the TV show "Friends" are they seeing the values of my friends and my neighbors? What do people in other lands think when they watch Freddie vs Jason or Britney kissing Madonna?

Do they assume this is the accepted behavior of people I know? People I associate with?

It's so easy to make the wrong's also easy to get the wrong impression.

Can we always blame others when they come to the wrong conclusions about us, if this is the America we broadcast to the world?


As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.