We are told that we are what we do, how much we have, where our political and religious beliefs stand and so on make up who we are. If you are a car mechanic, then that is the full extent of your existence; it defines the entirety of who you are. You love cars and grease, grunt to the wife when you come home, watch sports at night, rarely see your kids and hate the opera. In contrast, if you are a scientist then you must be absentminded, wear pocket protectors, detest sports, have no kids but have a wife who is also a scientist. If you are an accountant, then numbers should be your only interest, and you should be short, fat and bald.
But is this true if we have a job as opposed to a career? Will the person working at a fast food place forever be the pimple-faced young person slaving away after school? Will the waitress never be anything more? If we are merely the sum total of what others tell us to believe, then does that not make us merely automatons and non-thinkers? If people are defined by their money, then none of the poor should have ever risen past that lowly status.
In high school, kids are given tests to see what type of career for which they might be best suited, not by measuring their scholastic skills but their interests. The theory goes that, if their current interests match those typical to someone of a given career, then that is the career they should choose. Never mind if it’s something the kid might not like to do or not.
Society tells us that certain classes of people should behave certain ways. Men love sports, drink beer and get fat. Only gay people and sports figures should be in good physical shape. Women should drop their careers once they have kids. And high society types love to attend plays that no one finds the least entertaining. But is that the way you really operate?
That car mechanic — his parents might have been rich enough to take him to see a play once a month, instilling in him a deep love for the theater. Or the scientist might be from Texas where sport is a really big thing, and it’s hard to avoid marrying someone that looks like a highly-paid model. The fast-food worker would certainly have other plans for his future.
The point is that many people love to pigeonhole; they make snap judgments based on the most obvious thing about you, which is usually your job. Being raised around this sort of thing, we grow up being domesticated into believing these 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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