By Scott Ballard District Attorney
August 6, 2014
It’s time for school to start.
Dusty alarm clocks will ring. Traffic will increase. Routines will change.
And hundreds of teachers around this circuit will return to the task of challenging young people to learn.
The focus will be upon the mind. That’s good. All of us need to accumulate essential knowledge.
But the truly excellent educators will go the extra mile. They will stir the passions of young people and lives will transform.
That’s what we need. Enough of folks going through the motions.
Did you ever see those episodes of Popeye the Sailor when he would be sleep-walking? That’s the way too many of us live our lives. We need to awaken our passions and pursue them with zeal.
I read this week about a study of 1500 people with MBA degrees. At the outset of the study, the group was asked why they were pursuing the jobs they sought. Eighty-three percent of them said their career paths were determined by the amount of money they could earn. The remaining 17 percent chose work that they wanted to do.
After 20 years, the group was examined again. Of the 1500 subjects of the study, 100 were millionaires. Only one of those millionaires was from the 83 percent that chose a career to make money.
I’ve noticed this in my line of work. Young lawyers who chose the profession to find wealth are disappointed. Lawyers who passionately represent their clients and care deeply about helping them have all the business they can handle.
My heart gets broken just about every day for some victim of a crime. Sometimes it’s a child. Sometimes it’s an elderly person who has been cheated out of her life’s savings. I hate street gangs and the violence they cause. I hate drugs and what they do to addicts and their families. I have the great privilege to make a living addressing things that matter to me.
What pricks your heart? What matters to you enough to dive into it for a lifetime? When you find it— whether sitting in a church service, or attending a class, or watching the news— go for it!
Leave the sleep-walking to the 83 percent.
Scott Ballard is the District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, which includes Fayette, Spalding, Pike and Upson counties.