It’s parents. First and foremost I blame parents. Parents are the number one reason you can’t find good workers because parents want their kids reach higher than they did. Thus, if Mom or Dad worked in a blue collar profession, they want their kids to look down on that work. It’s subtle. Most parents don’t come out and say “what I do is bad”, it’s more “I want you to be better than me”, by doing this, you’re telling your kids, what I do isn’t worthwhile.
It’s teachers. It’s our job to prepare you for college! No, it’s not, it’s your job to help prepare them for life after high school. That doesn’t have to be college. When did we turn public education into college preparatory and not life preparatory? Public Education has gotten so bad that the only paths a kid has after high school are college, the military or prison.
It’s the government – oh there’s a popular one. The government has subconsciously told kids that working with your hands isn’t worthwhile. How? They no longer give public education the funding that is needed to teach skilled and semi-skilled trades in schools. When I went to junior high and high school I took wood shop, metal shop, electrical shop, automotive repair, a cooking class, etc. I was told by my government, as part of my education, that these skills were important to society.
It’s the media. Besides “Dirty Jobs” which is played off as a goof reality show, what show makes you feel like working in a job that makes your hands dirty is a worthwhile and valued career in our society? None. Even if a manual labor type job is portrayed, it’s usually portrayed in a comedy sense of look how screwed up my life is for working this job. Our kids are blasted by the media constantly to only look up to people who work in white collar professions.
We all stopped valuing hard work. Dirty work. Difficult work. Unpretty work. Not socially acceptable work.
We are all to blame.
We need to start telling kids, little kids, it’s okay not to be a doctor or lawyer or banker. That being a plumber is a wonderful, fulfilling career. Being a line cook, creating someone’s meal, can be a really good job. Building some’s car is a noble profession.
Somewhere along the way, we stopped telling our kids that ‘working’ is a good thing, and started telling them, you need to go to college, because ‘working’ is bad. We have generations of kids being raised that think ‘working’ is bad. We should strive to get jobs where you don’t ‘work’. You should manage. You should lead. You should facilitate.
Not work, lord no. You might get your hands dirty. You might get a stain on your trousers. Someone might see you working! We are not a working-class family! Worst of all? You might actually like it! You might like fixing something. You might like building something. You might like creating something.
I miss a time when working was as valued as education. When you could look up at your Mom and Dad and be proud of them for working at a job that brought them home dirty, but brought them home for dinner.