A story: Someone, somewhere, does his or her particular job best. They’re recognized and told how well of a job they do almost every day, and they fall asleep every night with the idea floating in their head that they’re making a difference to the human race and helping us progress in positive ways. And when they finally fall asleep, they rest, wake up and do it all over again. They do this everyday until they die. They help the human race in a particular area of interest/talent. They worship their work, their time put into their work and the output of their work. And no matter what they do with their lives, like love someone, be a parent, a child to someone, a friend, a mentor, etc. they’ll still remember what they’re doing overall and be reminded of the big picture of things and their importance to society as a whole and will never mention what they do and it’s importance, only why they do it and who it affects.
This story is my utopia summed into about 150 words. What my ideal society would be like. A world, filled with people who are passionate about what they do, and don’t hold themselves above others, since they have the mindset that we’re all in this together.
This is a very fictional approach to a perfect world. I get that.
Let’s get concrete. We’re all here as college students studying something we enjoy, correct? We like to do what we do, albeit engineering, medicine, education, agriculture, marketing, the arts, humanities, journalism, business, law, etc. You see where I’m going. However, when we study and encase ourselves in an academic shell so to speak, we tend to be protected from the other academic disciplines out there. They tend to be so certain that if it weren’t for them and their particular trade the world would be nothing. They don’t seem to grasp the larger concept of without X there wouldn’t be Y. Academic elitism is a pervasive mentality that is enabled by societies return on investment on particular degrees, and the general rule of capitalism which says if you make more money than you’re better than those who make less.
I appreciate the common toilet, without it, I don’t know where I would be with my life. I equally appreciate the person who designed modern sewer systems, and the person/people who installed the piping needed to properly stow away my stool.
I also appreciate the common sandwich, because without it, I wouldn’t be alive (malnutrition). So it goes without saying that I appreciate the people who farmed, processed and made the sandwich for me.
Whenever I tell people I’m studying journalism, they usually make a joke about the dying print industry and predict my unemployment. But what they really don’t know is that I really don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing eights from now.
I might be a full time residential life professional, a graduate student, a teacher, a deli worker, a public relations associate, a copywriter or a reporter for a newspaper. I may not know what I’m doing, but I promise you eight months from now I’ll be happy with whatever I am doing because I’ll fully understand its importance and relation to the rest of the world, and I won’t think I’m better than anyone else.
So it really bothers me where people hold themselves to a higher level in relation to what they do, or what they’ve done and expect the world to bow down to them because they’re “better” than others, or get upset when someone tells a joke about their particular trade.
If you truly care about what you do, and fully understand why you do it, you won’t care about what other people have to say about your academic choices, or think negatively about what others do with theirs.
John Schmidt is The Collegian’s web editor. He can be reached at [email protected]