I was walking by an antique store the other day and I noticed a really interesting looking “I Dream of Jeanie” kind of lamp.
“Wow,” I thought. “I bet if I rubbed that I could get three wishes.”
Then I had second thoughts. You’ve probably heard as many genie jokes as I have, and you know they usually don’t work out well for the wishers.
It seems the lucky liberators of grateful genies have a horrible tendency to misspeak and find themselves shipwrecked on a sea of beer, carrying a 12-inch Bic, transformed into an Oscar Mayer wiener or something equally unfortunate.
This holds true even when people are wishing for good careers. Take the guy who asked a genie for the most spectacular job ever, one no man has ever attempted to do.
So the genie turned him into a housewife.
The old saying, “Be careful what you wish for” is full of wisdom, isn’t it? After all Midas, who was a mythological king before he inspired a chain of muffler repair shops, once wished that everything he touched would turn to gold, which left him starving and childless.
Except I think we not only need to be careful concerning what we wish for, we need to be careful where we look.
You could waste a lot of time and energy rubbing a thousand and one lamps before you found a genie.
You could also waste a lot of time and energy polishing up a thousand and one resumes, cover letters and job applications that won’t get you the kind of job or career you want. They might also not deliver the kinds of benefits you had in mind, like the woman who asked a genie for a very large diamond and ended up with a minor league baseball stadium.
We all need work that provides enough for us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. However, sometimes I think people start rubbing on their career lamps hoping the genie of human connection or self-fulfillment will pop out.
But that’s not likely to happen. You have to be very specific with genies. If you say you want to be irresistible to the opposite sex, better be clear about the species you have in mind unless you want to get chased around by a horde of bees. If you say you don’t ever want to work again, you might end up in a dead end job instead of a penthouse suite.
So before you start rubbing lamps, make sure you know what you’re wishing for. Along with careers and material benefits, do your dreams involve family, community, spiritual and other benefits? Get them clearly in mind before you start polishing your lamps, and then see how your world lights up.
by Danielle Dresden