Who Counts

Posted on 16 March 2016

The below is an ad and it ends quite cheesily, but it does make a point (in order to sell Mother’s Day cards). We worry too much about what is the most important job. We justify high wages by assuming something is an important job.

We try to get women and poor people into STEM, because those are seen as offering high wages for important jobs. Traditionally law, business, and medical degrees were seen as THE most important jobs.

When you are genuinely suited for and have an aptitude in other job fields, the judgements range from you are letting the team down by taking a “lesser” job, that you are lazy for taking a “lesser” job (without any understanding of how much work that job really does take), to the ultimate judgement that perhaps there is something wrong with you as a human being.

What if all the sanitation workers all around the world went on strike? What if every farmer everywhere stopped growing crops, tending fields, and managing livestock? What if every woman everywhere stopped giving birth and stopped caring for children? You might find these jobs are pretty damn important. So, why aren’t any of these people fairly paid to insure their security?

And trust me. The word “unemployed” is a fiction. People who are without paid employment work damn hard to survive. They often have to hit more than one food bank a day. They have to find time to hop from one public service group or charity to another in order to get all the medical, shelter, transportation, etc help that they need. They are then required by the government to go to numerous job interviews a week whether or not they are relevant to their skills, taking away time for efforts to achieve immediate survival and take care of the kids. This is done while the government is handing out less than living welfare in return.

You may not understand why a job is important. It may not have much meaning to you. That doesn’t mean it’s not invaluable in some way. Just because you don’t grasp a job’s significance doesn’t mean you treat the people performing that job with anything less then complete respect. Start trying to see beyond all the flattering mirrors with which you have encircled yourself and start recognising the existence and value of other human beings. This is critical to our mutual survival.

In peace and kindness,


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