An early morning conversation with my mom has my mental wheels whirring on and off all today. We were talking about a friend who had decided to pursue a rather non traditional career over the run of the mill IT work. My first thought hearing of it was good for him at least he gets to do what he is passionate about instead of being doomed to a life of staring at the monitor specially if he hated it.
My mother was rather apprehensive. He is young! What if he is not successful? What if he has blown his chance at a good career in pursuit of a whim? And then the standard who will give their daughter to him?
While I laughed then, thinking over it, in many ways society has not changed much has it? True there are more people breaking the mold and going out and doing things but the average guy/girl next door is still toeing the line. Picking science over arts, writing a GRE/GMAT to get a Masters, applying for and joining a well-known corporate, reviewing hundreds of parent approved partner profiles, getting married in an elaborate ceremony and ‘settling’ down to a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a play yard at the back.
Not that there is anything wrong with it but the person who deviates from the norm is often treated with disdain, looked upon even before s/he has a chance to prove themselves and written off before they start. If you are not doing the traditional things, then something must be wrong. I am sure financial considerations drive most of these societal diktats but I wonder if as a society if we were more open to people pursuing their passions be it cricket or movies or music perhaps there would be a better way to monetize that passion? Perhaps a child interested in sports even if they are not a good player could make a good sports writer a la Raymond? Or somebody who loves food could be a food critic?
If I look at any average gathering I am part of in my life now, most people I know are IT professionals. I know a couple of doctors and pharmacists and perhaps a couple of accountants. Where are the professional photographers, the writers, the chefs, the film makers? Why is it that my crowd mirrors what I think society imposes on us?
Where are my outliers? 🙂