Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Vocations and Work

I wonder how young people decide what work they want to do? My grandson said he wanted to make money and that is all he really cared about. Business schools flourish throughout the country. Of course there are mixed motives. Many lawyers and doctors know they can make good money but also can be helpful to people and the society. Fred became a lawyer and moved to Saigon twenty years ago to help the people of Vietnam compete in the world markets by helping with their laws. Many doctors settle for small practices in rural areas. Some people get Masters in Business Administration and then open retail stores.

I wish more people wanted to go into professions as people helpers. My father used to say, “If you want to enjoy your life, do something to help others.” Nurses, teachers, State Department employees, clergy, social workers, parole officers and union organizers come to mind. They help others, the pay is low and for many the personal benefits are the most important values.

In my experience, Christian churches do not encourage young people to seek professions and work that reflect the teachings of Jesus. The New Testament and the Old Testament prophets teach that caring for the poor, the hungry, the homeless and peace-seekers are religions highest priorities. In my college years there were many calls for men to become ordained.  Women were not yet eligible to be deacons, priests or deacons.

Writing about greed always sounds so preachy and judgmental. Yet greed is part of our sinful human condition. Everyone wants more of something if not everything. A baby wants more milk, food and changing. Children want more toys and attention, Teen want more stuff, gadgets, sneakers, clothes or friends. Most adults want more money and more freedom. Shopping is a world-class sport and recreation. Ads for vacation spots mention, golf, tennis and shopping are available activities. Greed is just one of the human impulses that need thought, discipline and control.  The recent crash of the financial and real estate bubble demonstrates how uncontrolled greed has destroyed homes, families and businesses.

People most often choose their work, jobs and even vocations on what rewards they will bring. Money rewards are sought most. 
Serving others, making a decent living and enjoying work and loved ones can be the starting point for choosing a vocation.


Anonymous Fred Fenton said...

The growing disparity between rich and poor is a dangerous trend in America. It has grown exponentially in recent years. Not only churches, increasingly weak in their influence, but the business schools which produce the bankers and hedge fund traders should take up the challenge of teaching young people a better way. As long as finance, medicine, and the law pay so handsomely while teachers receive much lower compensation their future and the ability of America to remain competitive are in jeopardy.

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