Today I look at all the career choices young men and women have that were non-existent in the seventies when I graduated from college…especially for women. The career slots were still basically medicine (as a nurse only or lab technician- not a doctor) or a secretary or a dental hygienist (but not the dentist) social services and teaching. There might have been a few more variations of these careers but choices were pretty limited.
Today the choices are endlessly mind-boggling…especially with the appearance of technology in the past two decades. It opened up hundreds of new job opportunities and hundreds more of old professions changed forever by adding computer systems to every form of transportation, education, big business, markets, banks, grocery stores, retail stores, private industries and “ma and pa” once family operated cafes, restaurants, boutiques, etc.
Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t rely on some form of a computer system.today..not even counting financial transactions.
Sometimes I think, however, we might have had it easier with lesser choices to consider back in my day. I had never considered teaching and not given history much of a second glance either until the two fell together for me during my junior year in college and I landed exactly I was supposed to be…me and Brer Rabbit. The classroom was my “briarpatch”…where I felt right at home.
When I look around and see the number of young people today who suffer from depression, sleeplessness, and other ailments of modern day society…I can’t help but wonder if all these extra career choices have made people any happier overall. It is always so wonderful to see someone in a career they love…that means their life is so more fulfilling than the “weekend warriors”…just surviving till Friday.
In spite of the pitfalls of jobs and careers living up or not living up to one’s expectations…in a world where we can be anything…the most important choice we make doesn’t involve a job or career…it is the choice to be kind.
Teaching presented me an opportunity to act, perform, story tell…all my favorite passions…to a “captive” audience. As educator Gail Godwin, who so aptly defined teaching said,“Good teaching is one-fourth preparation, and three-fourths pure theater.”
As a teacher myself…I wanted my own children to get those teachers who really cared about their students. Whether those teachers had a masters or P.H.D didn’t mean beans to me…because the old adage is so true….”Students don’t care how much a teacher knows…until they know how much a teacher cares.”
Think about the teachers who made a difference in your life…it wasn’t about the subject they taught…it was how they made you feel. So on those days when it is tough to get up and face another challenging day at work…forget the work part and concentrate on the number of ways you can be kind to any and everyone you meet throughout the day. In the end it is the most important “job” of all.
So until tomorrow…Be kind to people…not because they necessarily deserve it or not…but because of who you are.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*”It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Easter”…