This year for Christmas I received stock in the Green Bay Packers. I am now an NFL owner with all the rights and privileges this status demands.
I receive no dividend. I have no real voice in team decision making, but I have a stock certificate that I cannot sell and I cherish it. When my heart says “resign Donald Driver,” they will not pay attention, but I can feel that they might, because I have ownership in the Packers. Sometimes sitting in a meeting, my shoulders square and my chest expands as I realize my new found role.
I am an owner of my favorite team. When we win, and it will always be we now, I will be part of the history of the team.
I have a credential that says I am an owner of the Green Bay Packers. Just as hundreds of colleges students marched across scores of stages with a credential that said they speak a second language when they cannot, I own a credential that says I am something I am not.
Credentials are suitable for framing, but not much else.
It is commonplace now to protest credential inflation. The crew of the cruise ship that ran aground had credentials aplenty saying they could handle a disaster, but they could not. Passengers had little desire to check credentials as they panicked and failed their duties. And yet we keep paying huge sums for credentials, even getting into debt to finance them.
My Packer ownership and the power I lack with it has taught me lessons about credentials.
If they say you are, and you can’t then you aren’t.
Being able to do a thing is, on the whole, more important than being told you are capable. A certificate of wellness never kept a man alive.
If they value your opinion, they will sometimes act on it.
Politicians are always sending me surveys asking my views. Though I have returned many with ideas ranging from flying car subsidies to research on developing Ozma’s invisibility belt that protects Oz from enemies foreign and domestic, no politician has eve responded. They say they care, but their failure to even laugh at my idea suggests nobody is paying attention.
Credentials that cost more than the earn are dubious.
Money, some colleges say, isn’t the purpose of college education, but one notes they still charge. They offer wisdom, but will not take some of yours or your parents in exchange.
You ought to get value equal to the price of the credential.
If you have to tell people, then generally you don’t really have it.
They play “Hail to the Chief” when the President enters, but not because he asks for it. People get the President is President even when he leaves his seal of office at home.
Some college graduates should play “Pomp and Circumstance” in every HR department, because otherwise nobody could tell their educational level. My mother never finished college, but she knows more than most college graduates I know. Good students seek her out, because she can get the job done.
Wheaton made Hope, my wife, a fine trumpet player. I know, because I hear her play, not because of Hope’s diploma. Hope never has to say what she did in college, because we see what she does now.
I ended up giving the Packers money and they used it to build their stadium. I am happy to have done it, but I am not confused about my role. I am a cash cow, not a junior Jerry Jones.
Otherwise, they would call and ask about Donald Driver.