WORKING IN GOVERNMENT
One must work if only to feed oneself and family. It is a form of livelihood, an occupation if you may. One can do this by having a business, a commercial endeavor, either on a small scale or grand manner depending on one’s capability. In this manner, the family works under one roof, each having a role to perform, a specific duty, a special concern. Each one can reach out to one another, each one can be seen, touched, embraced and observed closely.
But if one works in government, the family takes a back seat. The only link virtually tied between family and person is reputation and name. One is enjoined to embrace every rule the bureaucracy must compel to observe. One must sacrifice to the point of martyrdom. Government service is an invitation to heroism. It is never taken as a relief, an intervention, a field where one can relax and be indifferent. It is an endeavor, an ungrateful one. One must be fair, neutral and cold; at the same time, one must be patient, understanding and ready to extend help whatever it may be. If there should be any fulfillment to be desired in relation to family is the eventual retirement of the government officer from the service. From there, he joins his family up to the twilight years.
There are numerous temptations in government service. Disorder, irregularity, intrigue, confusion, disarray can be precipitated so that the worker could earn something in between takes. Fixing is a game, which is paid handsomely. But the worker must never entertain this thought if he wishes to succeed in his profession. He must never even dream of partaking a portion of it. He must even be blind about its manifestations. If there should be a heart of steel, the civil servant must have one during the course of his sensitive duty. There will be occasions for compromise and tolerance but government service is never designed that way. It is a form of discipline where initiative is never required. As a matter of fact, initiative is even a crime.
A period in government is an occasion to forego perks and privileges. Simplicity is always the order of the day. While every government post exudes of power and influence, it should never be directed to oneself. It is there to be aimed at the people for purposes of general welfare. To shift in another way is treachery. There is even a law that penalizes a government worker if he deviates from ethical norms.
There is a choice that everyone is asked if he is to seek employment. Here are stereotyped impressions. In the private sector, the employee must be serious, focused on quota, highly disciplined, trustworthy and resourceful. In government, it is the other way around. He is relaxed, functions without quota (afterall, government never goes bankrupt ), highly connected, suspicious and indifferent.
A government post is not a reward. It is an oath. It is a promise, an undertaking to offer oneself on the altar of servitude. It is a process of offering and giving away the best years of one’s active life in service of the people. It is selflessness in the truest sense of the word. One commits a cardinal sin to think otherwise.
For those thinking of employment in the public sector, for those enjoying work through fortitude let them have an item in government. The country needs this breed of heroes.