Degrees May Not Always Lead To DREAM JOBS
Taking the road less travelled as Robert Frost had said does make all the difference.
- Paulo Coelho
MY OLD MILL in the village of the Pyrenees had a row of trees that separated it from the farm next door. One day I saw my neighbour come out of his house; he was old, probably in his late 70s. Every now and then I would see him working on the farm with his wife and thought that it was about time they retire from the hard life of farmers.
The neighbours came to me and asked me, very sympathetically, to cut the branches from my big tree. He said that the dried leaves were falling onto his roof and staining the tiles. I was shocked that someone who had spent his entire life in close contact with nature wanted me to cut down a tree that had taken so long to grow, simply because within ten years his tiles would be stained.
I invited him in for coffee. I took responsibility for the staining and said that if the leaves ever caused any real damage ( which they wouldnt, they would be swept away by winds and summer rains) then I would pay to construct a new roof.
The neighbour said that it did not matter; he wanted me to cut the trees. I got a little upset and told him that I would rather buy his farm.
My land is not for sale, he replied.
But with the money, you could buy a great house in town, live there for the rest of your days with your wife without facing the harsh winters and failed harvests, I argued.
The farm is not for sale. I was born here, I grew up here, and Im too old to change. He then suggested we bring in an expert from the city to evaluate the case and help us make a decision so that neither of us continued to irritate the other. After all, we were neighbours.
When he left, my first reaction was to blame him for insensitivity and disrespect towards Mother Earth. Then I was intrigued. Why wouldnt he sell his land? By the end of the day, I understood that the mans life had only one story and he did not want to alter it in any way. For him to go and live in the city also meant he would have to plunge into an unknown world, with values and teachings that he may feel he is too old to learn.
This was not true only for my neighbour; I think it happens to everyone. Sometimes we are so attached to our own way of life that we turn a great opportunity away because we do not know how we will use it. In his case the farm and the small village were the only places he knew, and not worth the risk of giving up.
People living in the city believe that they must have college degrees, be married, have children, and make sure the child also has a degree, and so on. No one ever asks himself whether he can be something different from what is considered the normal way to live.
I remembered that my barber had worked day and night to make sure that his daughter could complete her studies for a degree in sociology. She managed to finish college and obtain her degree, and after knocking on many doors she finally found work as a secretary at a cement company. She had no use for the degree her father worked day and night for but he said proudly, My daughter has a diploma, even though it didnt matter.
Most of my friends, and their children, have diplomas. This does not mean that they are now working at their dream jobs.
Quite the contrary. They completed university because someone, at some point in time, decided that getting a university degree was important if you wished to succeed in life. And it is for this reason that the world is missing out on some excellent gardeners, bakers, sculptors and writers.
Maybe it is time to revisit an old question: Who really needs a degree? Doctors, lawyers engineers and scientists definitely need one. But does everybody? Ill let the poem of Robert Frost give that answer: Before me there were two roads, I chose the road less travelled, and that made all the difference. P. S.: As for the story about the neighbour, the expert came over and to my surprise, showed a French law that requires any tree to be a minimum of 3m away from the neighbouring property. My tree was at 2m, and I had to cut it down.
Article Credits: Mail Today