Society likes to define people in a lot of ways and some of those ways are flawed by their very nature. We sometimes (okay probably most of the time) make judgments on people purely based on what they do for a living. We make assumptions without really delving into who that person really is.

Society likes to define people in a lot of ways and some of those ways are flawed by their very nature.  We sometimes (okay probably most of the time) make judgments on people purely based on what they do for a living.  We make assumptions without really delving into who that person really is.
During my lifetime I have held many titles – husband, father, son, brother, veteran, HR director, consultant, Representative and probably the most important one of all – Papa.  Each of the titles seems to bring different connotations and sometimes different expectations.
As State Representative you are often introduced with the title The Honorable and then your name.  When I was in office my sister was the Director of Nursing for a nursing home facility and the corporate office was talking to a group about the right way to address their elected officials. And they mentioned that we should be called The Honorable. Apparently my loving sister told them that she wasn’t going to call her brother the honorable anything but promised not to call me bad names in public.  Such is the love of a sibling – lol.
I know that right now there are some chuckles and I’m sure that I will hear from my so-called “friends” about titles not meaning a whole lot.  And they would be right.  We cannot make assumptions about anyone just because of their title or what they do for a living.  
We all have certain thoughts about doctors, lawyers, accountants, police officers, military personnel, truck drivers, and the list goes on and on.  Based on our experiences and biases (not in a bad way) we make certain assumptions about their intelligence, professionalism, even their character.  We shouldn’t do that but we just can’t seem to help ourselves.
We have some groups across the country bashing law enforcement because of a few bad actors.  But the bad ones get the press so some people just want to lump everyone into the same pot when we know that just isn’t true.  Can say the same thing for just about any group or occupation that you can name – there are good ones and bad ones.
And, for some reason we seem to put more “educated” individuals on a higher pedestal and look down on those that don’t have a college degree.  Why in the world would we do that other than society as a whole has made us believe that we can’t be successful without a piece of paper from a “university.”

I am a big proponent of education but that term is not exclusive to a college or university.  When we talk about education we need to think about learning and not just educating.  I know a lot of educated idiots and a lot of very intelligent people who never went to college.

I am not knocking the value of a college degree since I have two myself, but I’m not successful just because of them.  If we don’t get away from this notion then we are going to be in pretty sad shape as a country.  We have to start putting just as much value on the trades and educating people on practical application rather than just theories.

And along the way we have to start judging people on who they are and not what they do as an occupation.  I know someone who looks pretty rough and not someone that I would want to meet in a dark alley if I didn’t know him.  But, we got into a discussion of politics and wow – he blew me away with his grasp of the nuances of politics that even elected officials don’t have.

In biblical terms we talk about the “body of Christ”.  In 1 Corinthians 12 the writer compares the body of Christ to our own bodies.  The hands have a purpose, the eyes have a purpose, the ears have a purpose and so it goes with each part of the body.

The same is true in the church and in our society as a whole.  In a church we need different skills and talents to serve God and in society we can’t all do the same thing or else we couldn’t function as a nation.

Seems like I kind of rambled today but my point is that we can’t make assumptions about people just because of a title they might hold.  And we need to encourage people to use their talents and passions to serve others and not worry about artificial societal attitudes.





   
      


   

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.