Friday, March 25, 2011

Ideals v. Realism

I've always been an idealist. When I was a child, I read about the horrible corruption in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and I wanted to do something about it. I decided that I was going to become the head of the BIA and erradicate corruption from the system. That dream has mostly fallen by the wayside, primarily because I don't have a drop of Native American blood in me (I'm all German), and I feel strongly that the Tribes need one of their own to represent them on the federal stage. Unfortunately, that idealistic view has not led to any reforms. But the dream did drop off my radar.

A while ago, I was out to lunch and trying to find the Whole Foods near my work and I happened to walk by the BIA headquarters in DC. It brought my dream right back to me. And although I'm extremely happy in my professional life right now, that dream keeps niggling at the back of my mind. But unfortunately, I'm also a realist, thanks to a college education focused on teaching me the difference between laws and practice. Besides the whole not being a Native American thing, my biggest concern is that I wouldn't actually be able to achieve anything even if I were to become the Director at some point. In theory, I could do anything as the Director. However, I think I would have to work my way up to get that far. And one of the many whistleblowers that has worked for the BIA, was fired as soon as he reported what was going on in the Agency financially. So if I had to work my way up, I don't think there's any way that I could watch the corruption going on and not say anything about it. Then I would get fired and never make it to Director.

Dreams suck when you get realistic about them.

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