When talking to a parent of one of my tutoring students last week, he asked what I do for work other than tutoring. People assume I must be a high school math teacher since I’m tutoring their high school child in that very subject. I told him I teach Anatomy & Physiology at a local college. He paused and a confused look came over his face. He made a comment that that seemed so different from this. I said I liked the variety and already had a sense that this man would think my lifestyle completely absurd if I went on to tell him about the other things I do.
But I hope to one day live in a world where, when people hear the multitude of things I do, they unanimously think it’s fabulous. Don’t get me wrong – many people do think this. But I felt sorry for this student who had a father who had done the same thing all his life and probably expected the same of her. Yet I’m sure she has a multitude of gifts, like all of us, and if she wants to pursue them all I hope she has the courage to go against the grain and do just that.
So next time you hear of someone that does something completely different from what you’d expect (the insurance agent who just got certified in flower arranging, for example), let them know how wonderful that is. It’s simple, really. Instead of a confused look across your face, smile and say, “That’s fascinating – how did you get into that?” It will make our day:)