End Of The World

The other day, a good friend told me that he feels like his job as an accountant is meaningless because if the world were to end the next day, he would be useless without a purposeful skillset such as those in careers such as doctors, nurses, handymen and builders, cooks, etc. My initial response was that the world is not going to end tomorrow, and we do need accountants, so the whole conversation is actually irrelevant. And even if the world were to end tomorrow, why even try to survive until then? All that would do is prolong the anxiety and torture for one more day. He then clarified that what he meant by the world ending was if all modern advances in electricity and technology ceased to exist and we were all forced to return to primal survival mode. So, he continued to insist that professionals such as musicians- or really, any career other than those needed for immediate survival- were without purpose and necessity. 

This really got me thinking: the careers he spoke of as meaningless were actually among the most necessary and purposeful careers out there. If the world were to end tomorrow, there is no denying that the initial priority would be that at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy. Of course it would be great to have medical professionals help me initially survive the shock. Yes, it would be wonderful to have a cook to bring me food, and a builder to provide me with shelter. But just surviving is only the first step, and most definitely not what life is all about. 

What about after I am breathing and safe and successfully surviving? I would want some sort of religion and leaders to feel a sense of community and order. I would want accountants and the like to help create a barter system for long-term sustenance. I would want counselors to assist in mental health issues. I would want personal trainers and hair stylists to help me get in shape and feel good about myself. I would want musicians to soothe my soul, actors and comedians to keep me entertained, writers and artists to get me thinking as I move upwards in Maslow’s hierarchy and begin to find my place and my purpose in the world and eventually, to be happy. If the world were to end tomorrow, no career would be meaningless- all careers have a purpose in physical, mental, emotional, social, or spiritual health, and the world would be a very different place without any of these unique skills and talents.  

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