THINKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS

The best way to appreciate your job is to image yourself without it.

Oscar Wilde

A JOB IS A JOB; IT IS NOT YOU

I’ve been lucky.  I have felt good about every job I have ever had and they have been many .  My first, walking hots at the local polo games gave me an inside track to riding great horses, but doing so meant cleaning stalls–shoveling s—.     Not status jobs, judy  a way of getting what I wanted which is what work should be about.  Instead what you do is do often  a ranking of your value as a person.   A lesson learned by   Molly Langmuir  when she descended the work ladder:

Unemployed, a grad student rethinks the world of work / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com

My father had little status in my mother’s side of the family.  He was a news paper reporter, they were judges and lawyers.  Seeing that my father was by far the better person probably accounts for my disdain for ranking by jobs.  Not that I haven’t held jobs that added status, for  I became a professional/  Status.  I  worked for many years  in the health field where  people are definitely ranked: the doctors at the top and the housekeeping staff at the bottom.  As a social worker,  I was in the middle and got to wear a white lab coat.  Status!!!   Then  I was asked to teach at Columbia University and became “a professor”.  Triple status.  But I was still  single  and in my thirties; all my  friends had married.  No status.  Then I married and got wife-status.  I had a child and got mother-status which is half status–half you are a madonna; half you are the source of all problems.  But it got worse,  I became   a foster parent and  lost all status.   Thatt  I had an advanced degree, was a licensed therapist and teaching full time at the top ranked School of Social Work mattered not at all.  I had so little status I was practically invisible, particularly when dealing with anyone with professional status.  When I stopped being a foster parent, I got a job in  the mental health field and  regained status.  The psychiatrists and psychologists out-ranked me, but I was no longer  invisible.    Next  I wrote two books and became an author.   Status.  I even appeared on Oprah.  Mega status but didn’t sell my books.  As I moved up the ladder in the mental health field, I directed programs and was “the Boss.”   More  status.  Now I am retired, have gray hair, wrinkles and not status and unless I work at being very charming am once again invisible,  at least to the general public.

Was  I happier when I had the most status?   I thinkt now is the most enduring and consciously  happy time  of my life.   Does not mean I happy having no status?   No.  Status feels good.   But I am wise in the ways of the world and accept the sadness that we the people are ranking animals, we establish hierarchies and place people above or below us.

Wouldn’t if be better for us and the world, if status came with being kind?  Imagine living in a world where who you were mattered more than what you did for a living, and what mattered most in ranking you was whether you were kind and caring or cruel and selfish.   It may be a long time coming, but I know and many others know  that being kind and caring has more rewards than comes from the world’s ranking.  Stay Strong.

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

Buddha

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