As I stumble my way further through college and dabble in the so-called “real” world, I’m coming to the sad realization that so many careers are fueled by the misfortune of others.
A good friend of mine was recently accepted into pharmacy grad school, much to his elation because as he put it, “I’m pretty much guaranteed a job for life now, unless people suddenly stop needing medication or something.”
As altruistic as his intentions probably are, the core of his future profession is dependent on waiting for people to become ill.
Similar are doctors, the dream job many youth hold, held even higher by their parents. Almost any field post-medical school automatically stands as well-revered and even more well-paid. Their life of a far-more-than-comfortable salary and the security of stability is based simply on the misfortune of others. At the crux, they “wait” for the mishaps of the human body—for age to take its toll, for faulty decisions or karma to run their consequences, or for serendipity to take a disliking to some. For lawyers waiting upon the world’s misdeeds, engineers and researchers waiting to fix the inadequacies of moral life—without the physical and judgmental flaws of humans, there would be no need for any heroes to come to the rescue.
Along the same lines of journalists, any sort of news provider. Their careers are founded upon misfortune in current world events. Their stories wait for celebrity fuck ups, natural disasters, or political failures. How often do we see something positive on the news? When have we heard of the mundane kindness of common people, instead of mass shootings, diplomatic disagreements, or local robberies? The negative in the news has prevailed over the ordinarily positive, so much so that the negative has become the ordinary. If famous figures behaved pristinely, and the media was an immaculately honest all the time, we’d sadly sigh with boredom with no drama to occupy ourselves with. With no common enemy to converse about, journalists and reporters would run dry of material.
Even charity work, as selfless as it may seem, is based off of how much more fortunate we are than others. The job revolves around how we must take care of the misfortunately ill, the misfortunately malnourished in third world countries, those misfortunate enough to be in the disaster zone.
We ultimately choose our professions partly for future stability. We will always have the security of knowing the world will fall short in some way. Human mishap is inexorable, there is always something to deem “not good enough,” so worldly misfortune might as well be guaranteed—so we have assurance any these careers we choose.
Though this new perspective may now make us all seem like heinous villains, this does not make us despicable in nature. Our intentions are not ill, rather misfortune is inevitable. It is not a negative thing that we pinpoint the hardships of others, then decide to make a life out of helping them out. Perhaps this is just the duty of all humans.