These last days my mind was occupied. I thought a lot about what I value in a person and why I dislike the tradition of talking about yourself only in terms of what job you do and – consequently – how much you earn.
- I saw some Asian Dad memes – the dad who only considers his child a success if he brings back good grades – or the TV spot where a mum urges her children to study more, so that they won’t become a bus driver.
- I met a coworker at dinner and I don’t know anything about her on a personal level, she only talked about her next travel destinations for work, her corporate runs and how long she works in the company.
- I talked with a friend and got the feeling a person he knows was interested only in material things, despite living in a beautiful country, having two kids and a lot of free time on her hands.
I do understand and agree that money makes things easier, that beautiful things are nice to look at and that new things are exciting. I also understand that our brain is wired to put people into boxes to have an easier grasp of the world.
What I don’t understand is why we teach children that certain professions have less worth and that the people who are working in these fields are less honored in our society. We teach them basically that only money counts. That people who earn more than you are to envy and others who help you getting through your day are to look down upon.
- The fast food joint employee is maybe a fantastic dad who enjoys spending time with his kids whenever he can.
- The cash register lady is maybe a dear and wise friend who has open ears for her friends and family.
- The cleaning lady may be the best cook you’ll never know.
If we would not describe ourselves in the first place by what we do for a living, maybe we’d have a wider circle of friends, we would get new perspectives, and perceive people for their inner values, not their net worth.
Let’s open new boxes: The kind ones. The humorous ones. The ones who are always there for you.