While growing up, there are a number of things that society drums into your head. You will continuously be urged to be a responsible citizen, eat your vegetables, avoid prostitution, engage in sports, do your homework and above all, pick the right career path. In terms of picking the right career path, parents and teachers do a fairly good job shoving kids in directions that they think are best for them. The sad reality however is that while they want their kids to be molded into doctors, lawyers, presidents, engineers, city mayors, speakers of parliament and bank managers, kids often secretly harbor totally different desires and dreams.
I have learnt over the years that parents will painfully accept the career choices you make only if you excel after making those choices. Whether or not you succeed in the career that you opt for, the societal jury will always be out there, ready to hurl stones at you for the choices you have made. Bearing this in mind, I shall attempt to look at some of the major careers and how parents think you have fared in comparison to their expectations. I therefore give you parents and careers;
Doctors, Lawyers and Engineers
Naturally, these are the ideal careers that parents expect their children to ease into. After just a few months of being born, a child will be called ‘bright’ just because their memory has tremendously improved and they can suddenly remember more words than they did before. They will then be called a future Engineer, Lawyer or Doctor because the parents will have somewhat made the assumption that the child has above average brains. It never crosses the minds of parents that there is an age where little children will naturally show signs of intelligence despite everything. They will do and say things that will shock their parents into planning to make bookings for a place in an Engineering college but truly, the children are only just growing. If parents manage to pressure their children into becoming doctors, lawyers or engineers, these children will be regarded as successful. Many times it may not even matter whether the children end up earning peanuts even though they are lawyers, doctors or engineers. Parents are simply content that their child goes by the title Doctor or Engineer.
Doctors, Lawyers and Engineers Ranking Verdict : Perfect. This is what we wanted all along.
Teachers and Lecturers
In the earlier days, becoming a teacher was a very prestigious honor. Teachers wore ironed clothes, brushed their hair and spoke good English. Teachers taunted doctors and lawyers and they were an elite group of professional who were accorded quite a lot of respect. Children wanted to become teachers, they loved the profession; hell they revered it! Today, teachers have been relegated to the back and all they do is strike for better pay, engage in coaching to earn an extra dime and feed on threats from Minister Jessica Alupo. Occasionally a teacher will break out and venture into another career path like running FUFA or becoming an MP but generally speaking being a teacher is no longer the prestigious career path that it used to be. Becoming a lecturer is equally a stripped down career path because whilst one must pass highly to become a lecturer, one does not usually receive the respect or recognition that one deserves. For this reason alone, one’s parents will forever wonder why their son or daughter passed so highly at the University but somehow ended up failing to leave the lecture rooms. This is the reason why most lecturers are also Lawyers, Doctors, MPs and very recently, owners of Universities.
Teachers and Lecturers Ranking Verdict : If only they could do a better …
Singers, Dancers and Fine Artists
For these careers, unless you are a rich singer, an accomplished dancer or a renowned fine artist, you are most likely going to be regarded a failure by your parents. These career paths are only chosen by bold and daring children; rebels really. Parents will have the general sense that if you are a musician, you are probably doing drugs, sleeping around with prostitutes and drinking yourself to ill health. Although this is usually far from the truth, the stereotype has led many parents to ask for divine intervention whenever their children say they are planning to become musicians, dancers or fine artists. A few enlightened parents will support their children and offer them the encouragement to pursue their dreams and these usually end up actually making it as accomplished artists or performers. The majority of parents will fight tooth and nail to frustrate these dreams and unless a child is rebellious enough, they may actually end up failing to make it in life because they will be shoved into a career path they dislike.
Singers, Dancers and Fine Artists Ranking Verdict : Oh Hell No! Somebody shoot me!
TV Presenters and Radio Presenters
Very few parents will smile and applaud when their children say they want to be TV presenters or radio presenters. As much as these people are actually admired in the public eye, they are not seen as the ideal career choices for children. After musicians, Radio and TV presenters are next in line when it comes to fodder for tabloids and topics for gossip discussions. It goes without saying therefore that parents will do anything in their power to sway their children towards other career paths and becoming a TV presenter or radio presenter is only something that will come as a last resort. These are also careers of rebels who have the balls to say ‘No’ to the otherwise well laid out plans for them to become doctors, engineers or lawyers. Many of the TV Presenters and Radio Presenters are regarded celebrities and are usually very successful people in their careers but parents are not too keen to give up their children to these careers all the same. The society loves them but parents are less than enthusiastic about breeding children whose dreams are to end up being a news anchor on radio or the presenter of a certain show on a local TV station.
TV Presenters and Radio Presenters Ranking Verdict : Not the worst but surely you can do better.
Sportsmen, Carpenters, Writers and Journalists
These are career paths that are not chosen; these are career paths that choose you. Unless you are talented and extremely gifted in these departments, you will waste away your life hoping to become a sportsman, carpenter or writer and end up a total failure. According to most parents, sports are extracurricular activities which means there is no way this can be your main career. With people like Stephen Kiprotich shooting down the stereotypes that sportsmen cannot really get rich, some parents are starting to realize that sometimes the money follows the passion but generally, there is little to support the love for sports. Carpenters and writers are always talented in their respective careers and they offer the society something that cannot be gotten elsewhere. Carpenters create beautiful designs, make homes look complete and enable good nights’ sleep. Outside of that, they are really not very ideal people to want to be. Writers on the other hand hold society together through written words but according to parents, they too are not ideal people to want to be because they do not earn too much and often end up become critics of their own parents more often than not. Journalists also often end up where they are, not because they want to get rich, but because of their passion and talent; that is a failure according to most parents.
Sportsmen, Carpenters, Writers and journalists Ranking Verdict : Stop boasting about your talent, get a real job
There are so many other jobs and careers that children take interest in and parents instantly consider disowning them. This however, does not mean that one should cave in and do whatever the old folks demand. Be your own person and make your own choices.
As is the tradition, I leave you with that other quote to take you through the week.
“Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” ~ Albert Einstein
Have a great week wonderful friends.
The Talkative Rocker