As a teen and well into my twenties my private nightmare was being asked, What do you do? I so longed to answer with work I was proud of. That the enquirer, quite frankly, would be impressed with. I wanted to BE somebody when I felt like a nobody. I wanted to say I am a photographer! Then one day walking on the streets of Calcutta, 1979, I decided I didn’t. A short time after that I got my first job as a photographer. All a very long time and far away now.
Yesterday I was asked by somebody needing to fill out a form. What do you do? I responded, I’m a Buddhist Monastic. A unknowing shadow fell over the questioners face. By way of clarification I added, Err, I teach Buddhism. I could see the light go on, Oh, you’re a teacher! I imagined the enquirer thinking. Sometimes one needs to at least appear to fit into a box! For administrative purposes.
Do take a look at Alain De Botton’s TED lecture, A kinder, gentler philosophy of success. Thanks to Walter for the link to this talk.
And all the quotes on Alain De Botton’s Twitter page are, to say the least, thought provoking.