Are we on a blog roll this month, it's like going back to 2006/7 when MySpace and Friendster still existed. This morning at work, I learned about a man who did a lot of gardening and other manually intensive activities. I think it's an admirable hobby and when someone is very hands on in terms of labor--I automatically put that person on an imaginary pedestal. I've met too many people who scoff at getting their hands dirty. People who prefer to pay other people to do what they obviously are capable of doing. Just because manual labor is too blue collar--doesn't go well with an Onesimus or Zara suit. I find that off-putting. Especially for a man. My husband doesn't like suits (unless he has no choice) and prefers to stubbornly tinker and do a lot of DIY projects. It doesn't always result to his planned outcome, but when he achieves whatever he wants to achieve--screened windows, bidet spray installation (LOL), extended extension cord--oh, that smug look on his face. Cracks me up; but I pat him on the back. I remember one of the first gifts he gave me was a paper weight he made in shop class--a chrome-plated dice (or die) where one of the corners was screwed on an x-shaped base so it looked like it was permanently tipped diagonally. Well he took it back and made it a reference model for all his students when he taught a machine class in university. But I thought it was a fantastic gift.
Going back to getting one's hands dirty as in gardening--I think it says a lot about a person. That there's a certain degree of humility and unassuming-ness. I like blue collar jobs; not to say that I want to shift careers and go into construction--but you know what I'm implying. I suppose being overexposed to a few persons in air-conditioned, hard-wood themed offices who can't be bothered to go get their own coffee made me "umay.
" When I had the fortunate opportunity to run an office with 2 administrative staff and a few student assistants, I made it a point to make my own coffee in the machine, clean the coffee maker myself, and get my own lunch. I remember at the beginning, one of the staff would ask what I wanted for lunch or what they could get me--I would respectfully decline just because lunch was across the street. I tried to avoid using the Intercom, because the walk towards the administrative offices was good exercise. I thought my office was excessively big. Too big. Look at me being all hypocritical when it was only last year when we moved to a different country that I started to do chores. I'm technically berating myself right now for letting other people do things at home in the past--things I could clearly do myself, sort of. Guilty. It was convenient. Feel free to judge me, I'm not proud of it trust me. But there's always a form of rebirth right? While I feel incessantly exhausted now, I feel more decent--more real.
My point is, we shouldn't succumb to the social norm of being impressed with superficiality. Wealth, stature, and power worn on one's sleeves don't necessarily equate to character and dignity. I'm not making a hasty generalization. And I'm not saying that blue collar is better than white collar. That all blue collar people nor all white collar people are decent. There are always exceptions. This morning's events simply triggered a reexamination of what makes an ordinary person extraordinary. Wouldn't it be great to aim for that?
Labels: cringe, rant, reality