Unemployment, wage reductions, and scant opportunity are just a few things that can describe the last year for sign language interpreters. I believe it easy, given the industry turmoil, for interpreters to stumble into the trappings of ingratitude.
Who could blame us, its been rough out there.
Calling On Karma
While the industry has been a bit of a roller coaster this year, I wonder if we can improve our circumstances and avoid the pitfall of ingratitude by inviting karma to help us. It’s worth a try, no? Let’s try it by expressing our gratitude for a colleague or leader that has made a difference in our career. To know them is to have been changed for the better.
With the exception of my life partner Tara (who is the most amazing person I have ever met and an incredible interpreter to boot), Paul Christie has had a tremendous impact on my career. He took me under his wing when I was a young and new to the field. You could say I was more than a little green behind the ears.
During our time working together in the Washington, DC metro area (DC, MD and VA), Paul regularly emphasized:
- The importance of balancing one’s Deaf heritage with the standards of the industry.
- That an artist creates the experience and the receiver determines the impact.
- To believe in myself, but to always consider the effect of my actions – real or perceived.
- The importance of balancing family and career.
In addition to the above, and sharing his life experience, Paul was very encouraging when I had the entrepreneurial seizure that later became Visual Language Interpreting (VLI) and was supportive throughout its tenure.
Thank You, Mr. Christie
Paul—thanks for being an incredible human being and an amazing interpreter. My career and journey in the field has been better because of your personal interest in me. Thanks for the invitations to your home, and for listening to a young man while he attempted to figure out his career path and life in general—the goo inside. Lastly, thanks for always being supportive first and constructively critical second.
Take A Turn
I am sure that each of you has at least one person who has had a dramatic impact on your career. Again, let’s invite karma to help us through these industry challenges by publicly expressing our thanks for those who have given us the push we needed, when we needed it.