The Profession Which Pays in LOVE

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by Suzanne Reisler Litwin

And… What profession am I talking about? How do you get paid in LOVE? Is actual LOVE the currency? Am I talking about prostitution? Am I talking about matchmaking?  Am I talking about a form of Professional Love?  Also… What type of love am I referring to? The love people have for each other, or for animals, or for inanimate objects?

Tell me! Which profession pays in love?

Actually, it isn’t just one profession. It’s any profession that you love and it loves you back.  If you’re lucky enough to LOVE your work, it’s possible it will LOVE you back.

I love being a teacher/instructor.  I love to teach and I love to learn.  I get a fair exchange of both when I work.  As much as I teach my students, they teach me about themselves and their world.

Every semester I meet many new students.   Sometimes, I will meet very interesting people who are unique.  These students might have special needs, a thirst for knowledge, a brilliant perspective, an incredible history, life challenges, and/or just a giant smile!  Whatever their uniqueness is, it makes my job even greater.  The extra efforts I put into my classes are usually based on my student’s specific unique needs.

Where does the LOVE fit in?  Love finds its way, it always does.

The more you give to your students, the more they will give you.  Most of the time, it’s a fair exchange.

On the closing day of the last semester, I end my creative writing courses with giving the students blank greeting cards. I encouraged them not to buy cards with words printed in them.  I suggest they write their own words into the cards.  My students are beautiful writers and they should use their unique talent to compose their own cards.

It’s an encouraging way to summarize and end our course.

Then… One of the students stood up and spoke on behalf of the class members.  She spoke of her experience in taking the course and handed me a card and gift! I was shocked!  All the students signed a card of thanks for me.  They also gave me a gorgeous personal journal as a gift.  I was so touched.  I couldn’t believe they gave me!

I felt all fuzzy and warm and so appreciated.

When the last class was over, I skipped all the way to my car! I was like a little girl who just got out of school for the summer. Gleeful and cheery, I hip-pity hopped all the way home.

I got paid in LOVE!

For teachers, it’s about these students and experiences which makes our job the most wonderful job in the world!

Sometimes it’s not about the pay; it’s about the payback!

The truth is the amount of actual hours teachers actually put into their work and students, in reference to their hourly rate doesn’t balance.  I might have been paid for 30 hours, but I probably worked 100 more for the same pay. I’m sure this is true in many other professions as well.

Am I complaining? Nope! I’m just stating a personal fact.  Did I mention that I love what I do?  Did I mention that I get paid in LOVE?  Did I mention that I receive gifts of love and appreciation? I suppose you can’t put a price tag on the answers to those questions.

I’m sure there are many, many other professions in which people put their hearts and souls into their work.  I’m quite sure in those professions; they get paid in LOVE as well!

Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education.  She is a writing instructor at The Cummings Centre. She writes a weekly column in The Suburban Newspaper and at the West Island Blog. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban Newspaper, West Island Blog, Wise Women Canada, The Metropolitain, and Women on the Fence. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. Visit suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.

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