Follow Your Dreams?

I was thinking about this on the drive to work today. In America, we tend to encourage people to pursue their dreams, but what if everybody did that? This country would be full of rock stars and football heroes and presidents. I suppose that wouldn’t be a bad thing entirely, but the competition would get rather heated, especially in the political arena.

Here’s the real question: If we all went gallivanting off to grasp that brass ring, who would be around to scrub the toilets? Seriously, there are tons of jobs out there that are no one’s idea of a dream. Would you want to work in a slaughter house? Has it occurred to you that some poor schmuck has to inspect and maintain our sewerage systems? Somebody has to clean the blood off of crime scenes. Our garbage doesn’t handle itself.

All of these nasty, ugly jobs that keep society going are not filled by people who are listing job satisfaction as one of their principal joys in life. We’d be lost without every single one of these people. We owe our health, safety and stability to them. They are the ones that make rock stars and football heroes possible. It would be hard to entertain an arena full of screaming fans if you had to shovel your own shit.

Yes, it’s quite romantic to think of the US as the land of opportunity where, with a little hard work and determination, you can be anything you want in life. But the fact is we all need to be pretty darned grateful that the majority of us don’t quite get around to fulfilling our wildest desires. We really need to alter our cultural  mindset to allow people in these jobs to take pride in what they do instead of feeling like they’ve somehow failed in life. Because when all is said and done, somebody has to make the sausage.


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