Your mind wonders away into a void where only you seem to understand what is going on. You sit on a chair, look out the window while absorbing impressions. Autumn leaves are passing by. They travel distances unknown. The blue sky is covered by clouds that resemble objects and figures. Fantasy plays with you. Only lack of imagination will spoil the experience of an adventure you see being played before you.

Then it comes. It smacks you in the face. You run into a concrete wall with high speed. Hard reality knocks you back on your feet, back to earth, back to the now and what is deemed as so important. All that dreaming and wondering around in a fantasy, is not what you should waste your time on. You cannot just waste your time looking out a window and do nothing. This seriously is very unproductive behaviour…

So here we are… We are defined with what we do for a living. It sits in our culture that we define somebody with what that person is doing as an occupation, as work. One of the first questions you get asked, when talking for the first time to somebody is; “What do you do?” as in “What is your occupation?”. You answer most likely with a similar phrase as this one; ”I am a student”; “I am a lawyer”; “I am an engineer”. Your answer allows to set a picture that the questioner can relate to and the tone of exchange and conversation is as such set. Having no occupation, saying you are un-employed, or that you do nothing is received with silence or a frowning face… Euphemisms are used to mask that you are by definition inactive in the rat race by using the phrase “I am in between jobs”; “I am looking for new opportunities and challenges”; and others…

No matter how you look at it, we answer with the intend to inform about our main activity, with the knowledge (and in some cases hope) that it will give you a level of status. It is that status we deem important. Being unemployed is not something you want to communicate. Main reason, it puts you in the bottom section of the status ladder. We communicate our profession as who we are and preferably we infuse the title we use with some more fancy wording in the hope we are put higher up the status ladder. It is all about the first impression we make. The same goes for the set of clothes you are wearing. We judge every person all the time. My argument is that we discriminate people in forming an opinion about somebody when we box them in their profession and occupation to define who they are. We form an opinion of someone before we even known the person.

Next time you meet somebody new and you start a conversation, try very hard to not ask anything about that person. Try and have a conversation about some topic that fits the occasion and avoid getting trapped in forming an opinion about the person by just looking t their clothes or shoes, before you actually had a meaningful conversation. My experience is that the less you know about somebody, the more you might be inclined to listen to what that person has to say without being prejudiced. Especially in those cases, where you would have boxed people into their boxes, where the box makes you to form a more sceptical or negative opinion about them. Avoiding this, stops you from defining up front an opinion about the person and might give you a chance to enrich experiences by hearing what others have to say more objectively. Try it… It is worth doing it!

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