There is a group of people who like to think of themselves better off than everybody else. Not a new thing actually except; this group I have in mind take things a little too far when they start looking down on others as having an inferior life. The idea that others must want what they want and live like them or consider themselves worse off is what I consider a step above absurdity.
The guiltiest of this group is the creative bunch –mostly the artistes who spend their day inside basements and garages taking sporadic showers, wearing untidy clothes while puffing on anything within reach all day in the name of creativity. For a time, the world needed some kind of an affirmative action to make space for them until they gain recognition and acceptance. For they themselves are considered oddballs by other groups. If you have lived as long as I have, then perhaps you have encountered the artist who mocks the office worker and his routine 9–to–5 confined-to-a-desk lifestyle. It is lifestyle the creatives consider stifling and lacking the orgasmic sovereignty of blissful imagination and creativity. “I will just die behind that desk” he says. This view would have been understandable to a reasonable extent except they pontificate that the routine lifestyle is bad for everyone. They also commit a fatal error when they assume that within the realm of “bank-telling” and “figures-tinkering” of accounting, there is no creativity and imagination.
Not all can stomach the drifting performances called the dream life that everyone must want to live. They forget that it is the difference in what we do that makes it possible for them to enjoy such things as a simple meal—without which their creativity will suffer. The creative goes to the bank and cashes money made possible by a teller who spends his or her day in what the artist might call an excruciatingly numbing routine job that would kill him in a day. What will happen if all the routine people, the very people who make the world tick, decide to be creative people who hide in a basement all day sipping a strange mix of concoctions and puffing on unidentifiable things? I hear you saying a recipe for chaos.
There are those to whom the dream life is to sit at counter, counting other people’s money all day. They too are entitled to the blissful reward that comes with what they do. Others may not necessarily understand his. The artist in doing his work needs patronage, support, sponsorship etc. When he puts his creation out there, he needs buyers who have earned their money by doing painful routine work. When the artist performs, he needs a large applauding crowed to feel relevant. The routine people after a hard day’s work look for relaxation with their family and friends so they patronize works of art. They decorate their homes with paintings and sculpture all to the benefit of the artist and the larger system.
The accountants, receptionists, bank tellers, statisticians, factory workers, clerks, drivers, security guards, police officers, nurses—the list is endless. They are the unsung heroes of the system who keep pushing day after day to make many things possible for those who want to be superstars or live what they call a dream life. They deserve our appreciation and respect. They need to know that things work for all of us because of what they do. They may not become superstars, never write a book and never travel the world. They are under no obligation to do these things. We do not all have the same dreams and we are each built for a different purpose. God in his infinite wisdom has made us in this manner— each one to his own journey.
But one thing is certain, we are dependent on each other for one thing or another and as the Apostle Paul illustrated in Chapter12 of the book of 1st Corinthians, no one is more important than the other as no organ of the body is more important than another. And like the Maslow wrote; “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” In that same vein, a teller must tell if he or she is to be at peace with the self. There is no tragi-comedy or absurdity that surpasses a person functioning in a role other than that for which they have a natural predisposition.
So next time you see a person in shirt and tie slaving to make your life easy be sure to show some appreciation. Their dreams may not be the same as yours, they may not have ambition according to your standards, but they are serving perhaps a greater purpose than your so-called ambition. You do not have a better dream; just a different one. Shout out to all the ever smiling staff at the Airtel offices around the capital, always there to replace my sim card every time I lose my phone (and that’s one too many too times). I really don’t know what I would have done without them. #spidup
Note: The SPiD-UP® Performance Recognition Program was recently officially launched here in Accra. If you know anyone you think deserve recognition for their performance regardless of their occupation and position, you will be making the world a better place by nominating them for recognition. Click here to nominate now.