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MAY 6TH 2016



Lake Nipissing. NORTH BAY, ON. CANADA.

In social settings or upon meeting someone new, one of the most commonly posed questions is "What do you do for a living?" Nowadays society looks to a person's job or career first as the strongest indicator of whether a person is a success or a failure; as if what you do for a living defines who you are. 


This puts a lot of pressure on young people in particular, to figure out "what they want to be when they grow up." Society places so much emphasis on WHAT someone does for a living instead of WHO they are as a human being.


In my mind this makes no sense.


Just because you have a "successful" career doesn't mean you are a "successful" human being. For example, the reaction one would receive if they were to reply "I'm a doctor" versus "I'm a stay-at-home-mom" are extremely different. While the woman who is a doctor would be praised and met with admiration, the woman who is a Stay-At-Home-Mom would be met with a patronizing comment like "Oh good for you!" Just because the doctor makes more money than the Stay-At-Home-Mom does not make her more of a success. That doctor could be a miserable person but because of her salary and status she is esteemed. On the other hand the Mom, who earns no salary and works just as hard, is looked down upon despite the fact that she is raising new members of society. (*I am not saying that all doctors are miserable and all Moms are happy it's just a hypothetical example*)


It's as if there is an unspoken grouping of careers that should be praised versus those that should be looked down upon. Because of this many people feel like what they do doesn't matter and this in turn spills over into how they feel about who they are. The beauty of being human is that we are all so different. This being the case, it doesn't make sense to compartmentalize careers or people in terms of success and failure because not everyone has the mathematical capacity to become an engineer. The artist posesses just as much capacity as the doctor, it simply manifests iteself in a different way: creative capacity. (*I am not saying that a person cannot possess both or that one is better than the other)


While we can't change society's view in this matter, we can change our own attitude and behaviour. Rather than finding validation from the misplaced approval of society, we should live by this motto: It doesn't matter what you do in life as long as you do it well. Taking it one step further, we should apply this to who we are and say "It doesn't matter WHAT you do in life, what truly matters is WHO you are."

"Whatever you ARE, be a GOOD ONE." - Abraham Lincoln


Photos taken by The Cultivated Lens
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