"You don't want to be flippin' burgers all your life, do you?"
"Well, the world still needs ditch diggers."
I can't tell you how many times I've heard these phrases. And I never gave much thought about it. The first comment is meant to inspire a young person to buckle down, get a good (read: 4 year university) education, so you can have a "decent" job. The second comment is to assign those jobs that "we" wouldn't ever want to do to "someone else" - not us, and definitely not our children - to someone who is obviously very beneath "us". No big deal, right?
You see, I have a child (or two) who will very likely end working this kind of job. I have a child (or two) who may not be able to go to handle the academic demands of college. Since a degree from a 4-year university seems to be the requirement for even the most entry-level job these days, that means my children's job prospects are going to be limited. I don't think this is fair - but that's another blog post for another day. Today's rant is about the attitude that there are certain jobs that are sub-par, and the individuals who hold those jobs are inferior to other individuals based solely upon the fact that they hold those jobs.
I have had the displeasure of watching my son absorb these inferences from the media and from people around us and apply them to himself. You know, this would be one of the times where I would love for the autism to come into play so he wouldn't understand these subtleties. But it's not. He is starting to realize that he may not be able to handle college, and it distresses him greatly. You see, the world makes it seem that, for those without a college education, there is nothing ahead for him besides being "poor" and in a "dead-end job" and "unable to support a family". (Those are quotes from a commercial for a for-profit college with locations across the country). It makes him sad. It makes him worried.
Since when did doing an honest-day's work for an honest-day's pay not count for something?? Why do we have to look down on someone who is working hard for a living? Why do we have to make someone feel like they are aren't as good as we are because they are a "blue-collar" worker?
I am trying my best to help Austin concentrate on what it is that God wants him to do in his life. And to remember that whatever he does end up doing, that he does it to the glory of God.
And I'm also making sure that I don't perpetuate that sort of attitude in my own life! I vow to treat everyone with the same basic human respect regardless of what sort of job they may do! Because it's not what we do, or how much money we make, that defines the sort of person we ARE inside.