This is the mid-2021 post, and as such I am going to refocus on what matters. People, plastics, and purpose, are three components of our mission statement at Hoffer Plastics. They are also instructive to this blog.
In this world, there is nothing more important than people. They are God’s masterpiece. Yet, the masterpiece often makes a mess of this world. This starts with me, as the biggest problem with the world is the person I look at each morning in the mirror. That is not me virtue signaling, it is reality. I fall short. I confess. I repent. The only person I can somewhat control is myself. Hence, the assertion. If, on the other hand, you are the biggest problem in the world, my locus of control is null. To lead well, I must start here. I must be ruthlessly accountable.
So, should you.
I hope the future of work is humanity. This last year has reminded me how vitally important the lives of human beings are. I cannot speak for you, but I am willing to sacrifice. I am willing to cut my pay, work long hours, pray through the night, and do whatever it takes to help people. This does not make me a saint, and I also do not want to mislead that my passion for people is always on point, because it is not. Yet, this is what I come back to: People are what matters most.
I cannot leave here without digging in some. I am for people, not tribes. I will take a stand against the nonsense being tossed around about how some people matter more than others. So we are clear, I am talking about the “us” vs. “them” mentality. We need to leave our trenches and come to our Father’s House where ALL are welcome. This starts with me. This starts with us. People matter because they are all divine image bearers.
Plastics is now a dirty word. Let’s address the elephant in the room, plastic waste in the ocean is awful. We need to figure out how to be better stewards of our excess (plastics, food, and every other excess). We also need to get to the root cause of the problem. To be someone worth following, we must tackle the toughest issues.
Plastics, however, should not be a dirty word. Not only does the material help increase everything from fuel economy to food storage, it also impacts the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people through the jobs it creates. So while plastic waste is a problem worthy of our best energy and effort, plastic material continues to be a life-saving, and prosperity making, material.
Many of the readers of this blog do not work in plastics, so they should replace the word “plastic” with whatever their work is. But regardless of what that work is, the point remains that it matters. It matters because work directly impacts the livelihoods of others, creates new things, and helps sustain the planet. While aide is important during times of recession, it should never be permanent. Human beings matter, and so does the work they do. We should never incentivize anything less. To do so is to lack humanity.
This is the question of our day, isn’t it? At the risk of sounding like a cultural commentator, could it be that our biggest problem is lack of vision? Could it be that we are now being defined for what we are against, and not what we are for? Where does “against” take us in the end? Please hear me that there are legitimate things to be against these days, but the point remains, where are we headed?
I cannot speak for others. But I echo what Joshua said to the tribes of Israel at Shechem, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him” (Joshua 24:24). This means that I can work with anyone and am commanded to love EVERYONE (emphasis mine). This (still) is the greatest commandment. It is also my mission.
Obedience might be an even dirtier word than plastics these days, if that is possible. But, it is important not to overlook it in the statement above. So I am clear, allow me to clarify my belief on this matter: I am saved by grace, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). I am also “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10). So, as a Christ-follower, I was created to do good. Being obedient to this call is a major part of my purpose.
I have discovered, therefore, that my best moments at the workplace are when I am obedient to the call of loving others through the work of plastic injection molding. For me, purposeful living starts with people.
This is who I am.
Who are you?
What matters to you?
I invite you to do some soul searching this summer and come to clarity on what matters most.
Then, live purposefully in the second half of 2021.