Feed Your Creative Soul

I stumbled across this meme on Facebook a few days ago. Aside from the grammatical error of using “everybody” instead of “not everyone,” I like the thought provoking message.

Not everyone is a doctor or lawyer

This morning I visited the original post and scrolled through the comments people have been leaving. (This was not on my own Facebook page, but rather the page from which the post originated.) The comments were all over the map. Some commenters expressed appreciation for the artistry depicted in the photo, others took the opportunity to blast our education system, others called for fairer wages for traditionally low paying jobs, while some expressed a concern for the lack of respect given to skilled trades jobs.  And of course, there were a few success-hating-victims-of-the-system, trippin’ on an angry pill, foul-mouthed idiots who were only raging on about nothing in particular and calling everyone elitist Marxist (fill in the nasty word of your choice). I suppose there has to be at least one in every crowd.

Here are some of the comments that were attached to the post. (I’m not going to share the nasty, angry ones.)

AMEN , we need to pass on the value of craftsmanship and cherish those who practice it .I earn my paycheck as an engineer, but building instruments is my passion .  

Saying that someone should ‘do what he loves’ for a living is fundamentally backwards and selfish. Focus on making money for your family first. We should be taking care of our kids and parents before we take care of ourselves. Doing what I love is nothing compared to being able to provide and take care of the people who love me.  

Yes, and also teach them to still get involved in higher education. Take a few classes even if not getting a degree. Take pride in the brain that helps you get places with your hands.

 Nor does everyone want to be a Dr or Lawyer…I definitely think there is a lot of talented people out there in the world, they just don’t realize how talented they really are…I see it all the time…

In my opinion there is a much bigger problem that goes across every profession and that is that we’re teaching kids to be “the best they can be”, where we should be teaching that kids should always BE the best at what they’re doing, and challenge them to be better than they would ever dare dream of being on their own.

Part of the problem is that schools are evaluated on how many graduates go to college. There should be consideration for grads going to trade schools. Parents should be proud when kids want to be mechanics, electricians, carpenters, HVAC, MASONS, plumbers, chefs. These are great professions for great people. Not everyone wants to be bored behind a desk all day. And, these trade schools/professions are not for slouches. It’s time for high schools to let these kids receive the recognition for achieving these skills.

 Yeah, we sure went off base telling our kids they MUST HAVE COLLEGE DEGREES and be white collar workers or be looked down on for being blue collar workers. Europe admires anyone who has a job!

There were many, many more comments about this meme, this is just a small sampling. Most of the commenters referred to skilled trades rather than artistic skills when referring to working with their hands. In general, the comments left me with one question. Is it possible for the average person to make a living wage following their talent and doing what they love to do? Sadly, when it comes to artistic passions, the answer is probably no. (Myself included.)

Whether your passion is visual arts, music, writing, theater, etc. you probably will not make a livable wage just following your talent and passion. Sad, but true. Obviously there are some exceptions, but I believe there are millions of secretly talented people out there working “9 to 5” just to pay the bills.  To those people, I want to encourage you to be intentional about finding ways to use your talents and follow your passions even if it’s just in small ways. Sign up for that weekend workshop at the community center, turn off the TV and spend some time sketching, go to the local civic theater, teach your talent to someone else – do something to feed the creative soul within you. Keep the fire burning. I think you’ll find more satisfaction in life.

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