Career vs Vocation
大耳朵英语  2009-01-06 19:58:51  【打印
Work at a job to earn or for quality of life.

As a child I was always counseled by parents and teachers to study hard, work diligently and get good grades. The earliest memories I have are of my kindergarten teacher telling us the fable of the ant and the cricket and repeatedly hammering it into us kids that we had to work hard so that we could enjoy after we got ourselves good jobs. Of course it goes without saying the "good jobs" were well paying jobs and all of us had to aim for those. No one ever asked us what we actually wanted to do. It was all about work hard, study, then get a job and make money.

All I wanted to do was read novels and write them – but creative writing is not something that is encouraged. It does not ensure a five figure salary. I was brainwashed all through school to become a doctor and even pushed into taking science in high school. I know many people who sing well, are wonderful painters or the most awesome cooks but were not allowed to pursue these talents as a vocation. This has resulted in a work force that is full of mediocre workers stifled in their nine-to-five jobs, while their true purpose, their true vocation is forgotten.

A true vocation is something that is sheer joy to work at. It liberates, it sets the soul on fire. It is a pleasure to watch a person who is motivated by his own self. It is a rare and absolutely uplifting sight. I once had the pleasure of watching a few young people singing and playing the guitar on a hillside. The pure joy in their faces and in the music they made - it was wonderful.

This brings me to the crux of the matter - Is it important to make money or is it important to follow your dream? I wanted to write so I wiggled out of the career in medicine that my parents hoped I would pursue. It is another matter that many years passed before I could seriously take up writing. I truly believe that it is important to follow your dream - unless of course your dream is to rule the world or harm other people or damage the ecology. In me, I think the world lost a mediocre doctor who's heart would not be in healing - so it was no great loss. It would have just been a career - not a vocation.