TOTAL SHARES 222

Important

In life, we often place merit on someone by the job they have. We may not mean to, but it’s no real fault of ours if we do – it’s been ingrained from us almost since we could walk.

Parents tell us to get an education, or we won’t get a good job.

Teachers tell us to study harder, or we won’t get a good job.

Potential girlfriends and boyfriends can decide whether or not we’re worthy of their attention, based on the job we have and the material things that can bring.

We see someone being chauffered from place-to-place and feel they must be really important.

Ironically, in social media, this feeling can be exacerbated.

Our blogs become popular; we get hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter; conferences invite us to speak; we have badges of merit that show how smart we are.

When you have that kind of “adulation”, it’s easy to mistake your importance and think your job is something it’s not. Sure, you may have a great job with a personal secretary; or your golf course fees cost more than it takes to send a child through college; or your blog is quoted in the New York Times.

But does that make you owner of the most important job in the world?

Think about it:

If every single blogger in the world stopped blogging tomorrow, we’d still get our news and opinion pieces. They might be watered down a little, but we’d still get them.

If every chauffeur quit tomorrow, we’d still have cabs, buses, trains, motorbikes and even bicycles to get around on.

If every girlfriend or boyfriend dumped their partners tomorrow, we’d still get by on our imaginations. Life would go on.

Now think about some of the jobs we often look at as lesser, and ask the same question:

If every trash collector quit tomorrow, we’d be faced with disease on the streets as the rats came to town.

If every security guard quit tomorrow, our businesses might follow suit, as we see the bad people come to town.

If every sewage worker quit tomorrow, our streets would be overrun by crap.

If every school crossing guard quit tomorrow, how long would our children stay safe at busy intersections?

We look at life through funny lenses. We see people in lesser light when often we should be shining the light on them. We celebrate our own importance when, often, that importance could be survived if it were to disappear overnight.

The point is, we all have important stuff to do and offer. Let’s try remember that more – yes?

image: Auntie P

TOTAL SHARES 222
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74 Comments on "The Most Important Job in the World?"


Alvaro
2 years 6 months ago

I think each and every person should feel that his job is the most important job in the world. And not only should we say, “This is the most important job in the world.” Our behavior / performance should reflect that.

Alvaro
2 years 6 months ago

I think each and every person should feel that his job is the most important job in the world. And not only should we say, “This is the most important job in the world.” Our behavior / performance should reflect that.

Sydney
3 years 4 months ago

I wish we have a different system about life and our pursuits. It muddles our brains. Growing up with that kind of thought, we are forced to believe that it’s true and a fact of life. So we study and we inevitably look down on certain people and professions. But the truth is, we really shouldn’t. If only.

ImagineBeauty_
3 years 5 months ago

I absolutely love this post. This is my very first time that I’m adding my comment here. I’m sure you all will begin to sense that English may NOT be my native language.. and you’re right.. it’s not. Hope you get the point. of what I’m about to write. :) I agree with bdorman264 on prejudgement. It’s true that it’s best not to prejudge circumstances or people until we walk in someone’s shoes. What seems to be happening outwardly is quite often not exactly what it’s actually going on. We tend to prejudge as if we know everything by what we had experienced, not realizing what we had experienced is only a little portion of what happened to the rest of the world as a whole. We just need to learn to develop some sensitive ears, eyes, mouth and heart to get a glimpse of what people may be going thru. It’s not that hard, actually. We’re all in the same boat and we learn as we go along, to be more sensitive to meet the needs of others. I just want to say, ‘thank you,’ Danny for your sensitivity and caring for the people who may be in need. I can sense it. We appreciate people like you. I’m pretty new w/ Social Media, especially with/ Twitter. I’m still in the process of learning how to build relationships with people in the social media network. A little bit about my experience w/Twitter so far…I find it very difficult to start the twitter conversation w/ people.. cuz (haha) some people are too busy with what they are doing, or they are not interested. :) So, I end up talking to myself. LOL I’m still going thru ‘That Awkward Moment When…’ hoping the conversation that I initiated would be responded. haha. I’m sure everyone went thru this before. Being curious about this and that, I often end up browsing thru people’s websites or blog sites just to find myself looking like a stalker. -_-;; I apologize for writing such a lengthy comment that is beginning to be almost as lengthy as your blog content. Sorry. Thank you so much for sharing your post, providing us with informative facts and data, knowledges, as well as inspirational content. Your blog is one of the best blogs that I look forward to reading. May God bless you. -Saach W. I.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@ImagineBeauty_ Hi there Saach,

Awesome comment, and never be afraid of length – just ask ingrid abboud ! ;-)

Sorry to hear you feel that Twitter is being difficult – I hear you on making that first step. Perhaps you can listen only for a bit – see what others you are interested in are saying, what they’re talking about, if you can help, etc, and then begin chatting with them?

That’s the great thing about being “new” to anything – while it might seem a little daunting, there will always be people willing to say “Hi” and help you out. Sometimes you just need to ask. :)

Thanks for the kind words, too, really glad to have you on this part of the web,

bdorman264
3 years 5 months ago

It all fits together in this puzzle called life. We are no better or no worse than our fellow man and all should be treated with respect and treated like you would want to be treated. Sometimes it’s circumstance and sometimes it’s choice and most times it’s best not to pre-judge until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes.

That’s about as philosophical as I can get today, so I will just leave this comment with you today.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@bdorman264 Wise words, sir. Wise words. :)

Craig McBreen
3 years 5 months ago

@DannyBrown@bdorman264 Bill is wise like that ;)

Craig McBreen
3 years 5 months ago

@DannyBrown@bdorman264 He defines the word :)

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@bdorman264@Craig McBreen Modest, too…

bdorman264
3 years 5 months ago

@Craig McBreen@DannyBrown I am, aren’t I?……:)

jasonkonopinski
3 years 5 months ago

The Danny Brown perspective is always refreshing – and I always look forward to seeing you pop up in my stream. Social media thrives on ego and a bit of performance art – and we need to remind ourselves that what happens beyond the 140 that has real worth.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@jasonkonopinski Cheers, sir, and completely agree – when around 99% of the world doesn’t know you exist, perhaps your ego is your own making… ;-)

jasonkonopinski
3 years 5 months ago

@DannyBrown And there you have it. Here at Correctnicity, we’re not big on titles. ‘I’m Jason and I work at Correctnicity.’ :)

KnealeMann
3 years 5 months ago

I was at a client meeting last week at a national coffee chain establishment where they serve fancy hot and cold drinks with green smocks. The dude at the cash was more entertaining than half the people I have seen on TV lately. I asked him if he enjoyed his job and he said “love my job, are you kidding?!”

He make take home something just slightly higher than minimum wage but his share of the tip jar and he loves his job. I asked him about his career aspirations and he is saving to take his MBA and expects it will take him five years. This was not a guy with some plastered fake smile, he truly enjoyed serving customers and brighten our day.

If he quit tomorrow, my coffee machine would work just fine and at pennies on the dollar. I would meet clients and prospects elsewhere. But you cannot put a dollar figure on that interaction. I’ve been to the aforementioned coffee established once since I met him and as soon as I walked in, there he was greeting and serving customers with the same passion and energy.

I’m not a fan of blanket cliches save to say we are all important, we are all essential and if you think your job is important, it is, no matter what it is as long as you give it your all. That is something I had forgotten for a while. Lovely post, mate. Cheers! km

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@KnealeMann Awesome example, sir, and I always love it when someone is clearly so happy at their job. Some people are much better than others at being with the public, and if that’s the case, why should that be looked down upon?

Imagine your coffee guy gets looked down upon by the CEO of a company whose pay is seven figures. The CEO thinks he’s “just a coffee guy.”

Thing is, the CEO gets coffee there each day and whether he knows it or not, is put in a better mood because of the infectiousness of the coffee guy. That helps make better decisions, making the CEO and his or her company more money.

Now – does the coffee guy deserve to be looked down upon? ;-)

JGoldsborough
3 years 5 months ago

Solid perspective as always, my friend. Sometimes we need to look beyond our retweet and Facebook share buttons. If I could make a suggestion, I would add something to the list that we often don’t consider a job at all — being a parent. That’s a job I hope to have someday and hope I’ll do better than any other job I have throughout my career.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@JGoldsborough For sure, mate, and as a father to one and with another on the way, parent is definitely up there amongst the gold. :)

JudyDunn
3 years 5 months ago

An amazing piece of insight here, Danny. As someone who has been both a teacher and a manager of a nonprofit whose work was creating projects to pull third world families out of poverty, I look at the social media celebrities differently. Many of them just seem a bit shallow to me. I think that “God” (Morgan Freeman) said it best in “Bruce Almighty.” It was something like: “There’s nothing wrong with hard work, son. Some of the happiest people in the world come home smelling to high heaven at the end of the day.”

Of all the jobs in the world, I think that teachers and parents are the most important ones because they absolutely touch the future in an infinite sort of way. Loved this post, my friend. : )

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@JudyDunn Haha, gotta love that Bruce Almighty quote, Judy! :)

My grandpa used to say something similar, in that, “There’s no better sweat than honest sweat.”

I think he meant pretty much the same thing, and that’s always stuck with me. :)

Liz
3 years 5 months ago

We see people in lesser light when often we should be shining the light on them. Amen!

danperezfilms
3 years 5 months ago

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that they got. Well said, Mr. Brown.

3HatsComm
3 years 5 months ago

I say it all the time, my offline friends haven’t heard of almost anyone in the social space, not even Godin or Brogan. Almost all of this is lipstick on a pig to them, ways brands try to dress up and sell them crap. As a former server/bartender, as someone who has teachers and nurses in the family – those we don’t pay near enough to clean up our crap, take care of us and today’s kids – I can relate to this.

Not saying it’s meaningless, what we do. Far from it. But it’s a far cry from importance in the grander scheme. I used to joke that I’d never survive an island crash ala LOST; I’m not thin, attractive enough and don’t have any survival skills, not much to contribute. On that note I’ll quote a Despair poster: ‘just because you’re necessary, doesn’t mean you’re important.’ FWIW.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@3HatsComm Love the Despair quote, Davina. And completely agree – there’s a big difference between being important and being self-important. Something a few folks in this “space” would do well to remember more often… ;-)

3HatsComm
3 years 5 months ago

@DannyBrown Good one w/ the ‘self-importance’ sir, important distinction. Think people in pretty much any industry need to remember that: you may be a ‘big’ fish in your pond, but other people might not of even heard of those waters, it’s all relative.

Marcus_Sheridan
3 years 5 months ago

I love the ‘Danny Brown Perspective’ articles. You really know how to put things in order my friend. :-)

Thanks for what you do,

Marcus

JGoldsborough
3 years 5 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan Yep, they always make me stop and think. Need more of that.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@JGoldsborough@Marcus_Sheridan Cheers, guys – I learn it from the good folks I’m surrounded by. ;-)

Leon
3 years 5 months ago

G’Day Danny,

Thanks for this: a timely reminder. And if all the volunteers of one sort or another stopped volunteering, the government would collapse.

Stop! Come Back! It was a figure of speech…../the government’s not really that bad…is it?

Regards

Leon

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@Leon I’m always suspicious of politicians mate – people that *want* so much power usually have another agenda… ;-)

Ali Mac
3 years 5 months ago

YES, Danny! Amen. Along those lines, I waitressed/bartended my way through college (and even after), and because of this experience I wish somehow it would be a requirement for ALL individuals to do this for at least six months out of their lives. Same goes for working retail. You meet so many different types of people doing different jobs. I don’t mean to generalize, but there was definitely a difference in the way the “important” types treated us and the way the “lesser” types treated us (and we were included in that category, of course!) It seems that in ascending the corporate or financial ladders, many people trade humility and gratefulness with each rung they climb. Yes, you are important – as is everyone else who takes care of those things that allow you to do your job. And this of course goes both ways. Everyone contributes, and we are all in this together, so why not respect each and every person – regardless of salary, diplomas and awards. I may not be closing seven figure deals over lunch, but I’m getting your food to the table on time so your client is well-fed, happy, and ready to shake your hand.

And to your point: if every server and bartender quit tomorrow, how could the “big wigs” get access to alcohol? Oh, the humanity! ;)

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@Ali Mac Loved this part of your comment especially, Ali:

“It seems that in ascending the corporate or financial ladders, many people trade humility and gratefulness with each rung they climb.”

Sadly, that seems to be the case for a lot of things, and social media in particular seems to have heightened people’s senses of entitlement.

It’s no coincidence that the economy is so messed up when the values are as low as they are towards those “below” others.

Sigh…

Hehe, I do like your plan of alcohol removal, though. ;-)

EugeneFarber
3 years 5 months ago

Love it! I often think to myself how funny it is that it’s often the people that society depends on to run smoothly that get paid the least or get the least respect. We are definitely a species that thinks backwards a lot of times.

ExpatDoctorMom
3 years 5 months ago

Funny you should write this as this topic came up tonight with my son. He said mama why did you want to become a doctor. And I told him that at the age of 5, I felt helping people was the most important job in the world. Remember I was 5! I told him that it was the wrong way of thinking but the best job for me and that all jobs/professions have their importance in this world. He seemed pretty satisfied with that!

Cheers,Rajka

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@ExpatDoctorMom Hi Rajka,

Seems to me your little lad will grow up just fine, miss. :)

ExpatDoctorMom
3 years 5 months ago

Thanks! I think he will too! @DannyBrown

BKneuer
3 years 5 months ago

It has been over 30 years, but I have tried not to forget the lessons learned during 2 summers of working (during college) on the garbage trucks on Long Island. The “college boy” learned a few things about the value of all work :-) And thanks @Neicolec for tweeting about your post.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@BKneuer@Neicolec Love it, Bruce – like you say, mate, all work is valuable. Now if only we could see that more clearly. :)

BKneuer
3 years 5 months ago

During another conversation I was reminded of the “Desiderata” poem. It does touch upon this theme: http://t.co/zspM90Xp

“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”

Neicolec
3 years 5 months ago

I’m so glad you wrote this. It’s crazy what we put on a pedestal and pay outrageous sums for in this American society. Sports stars get incredible sums of money to entertain people in symbolic games of war, while we dramatically underpay teachers and try to force them to stop organizing for meager pay raises. I wonder why we’re paying our politicians so much and giving them lifetime healthcare when they can’t manage to even do their job and come up with a plan to help all of the people who put them in office and pay their salaries. If only we had some other measure of value, some real measure of the contribution people (and businesses) make to the long-term health of our society, and paid on that basis. Well, that’s dreaming. But thanks for the reminder, anyway.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@Neicolec I recall writing a post a couple of years back, Neicole, about the cost of the War on Terror, and how less than 1% (if I recall) went to the injured and the vets from that conflict (and others like them).

When we value missiles over people, you have to question where we stepped off the human race…

jackielamp
3 years 5 months ago

I absolutely love this post. It goes back to what we were talking about in the comments in your post last week about perspective. This really puts our lives into perspective. And we all need a reminder like this from time to time. Thank you.

PS–Insights posts are my favorite!!!

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@jackielamp Thanks, Jackie – like you say, perspective is everything. Some have better than others. ;-)

rachaelseda
3 years 5 months ago

What a powerful reminder. My mom I always showed us that you respect everyone the same, the homeless guy to the CEO until they give you a reason to not respect them this way. It’s definitely one of the best things she has taught me. Thank you for this!

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@rachaelseda Love your mum’s advice, Rachael – sounds like a very wise person indeed. :)

OpEdMarketing
3 years 5 months ago

I just really appreciate these types of blogs, they really do help bring you down to earth. We hear a lot about celebrities like Bono, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Oprah are helping to “save the world”. My sister’s a nurse, and I don’t see her contributions to be any less that those mentioned – thank you very much.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@OpEdMarketing So very true – I wrote a post a little while back, about the A-lister myth and the people that are the *real* A-listers. And usually, they’re the ones just doing their stuff, and not hogging the limelight about it….

WGB2U
3 years 5 months ago

Danny, it’s one of those amazing days that so much “wonderfulness” and poignant reminders are shooting out everywhere and I feel so humbled to be catching them (and I’m so honored to share them). This post is part of the mix and I’m so grateful to you! You don’t know how often I am reminded of just this, especially since what we do focuses so much on the trades and blue collar workers – the spine of our society I believe! We have it so upside-down sometimes and it makes me very sad.

Thank you for wisdom and bringing this up to your audience who value so much what you write. If you have a chance check out either my Google + or FB page and watch “Johnny the Bagger” – it will speak to your thoughtful heart my friend about just what you wrote here! Wishing you a day worthy of you!

Much kindness,

Elena

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@WGB2U Hi Elena,

Thank you – coming from your good self, I’ll take that as a huge compliment. And looks like I need to check out your updates – sounds like you found a whole ton of goodness there, look forward to reading it. :)

SoloBizCoach
3 years 5 months ago

Great lesson Danny. I highly recommend that people read the book The Fred Factor. It is about a postman who made a huge impact on peoples’ lives while delivering mail. He did his job the best that he could, and despite it being just an ordinary job, he used it to do great things for people. The lesson of the story is that we should all do the best work that we can no matter what job we are doing, and we should try to make the lives better of the people we come in contact with in our daily lives.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@SoloBizCoach Completely with @OpEdMarketing on this – I need to read that book, stat, as it seems a great example of “good over bad”.

Cheers, Fred!

OpEdMarketing
3 years 5 months ago

@SoloBizCoach I’ll definitely have to check that out, sounds like a great story for a Hollywood movie :)

EGarimbao
3 years 5 months ago

I believe the most important job in the word is to act according to the job that God put us into, no matter what position you are, maybe you belong to the garbage aid or the president of a big company we’re all the same task, the problem there is on how we do it the job that God entrusted to us we are accountable to that job later.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@EGarimbao I’m a big fan of knowing that, at the end of the day, if you can look those you love in the eye and say you did the right thing, that’s definitely all that really matter in the end. :)

Jane | Problogging Success
3 years 5 months ago

Danny, that’s such a cool insight. I always respect such people in “critical” and yet not so shiny jobs. They deserve more!

Marya | Writing Happiness
3 years 5 months ago

I feel our most important job is to be a decent human being. When you do this, all gets taken care of. Lovely post Danny. :)

b
1 year 3 months ago

!! YES!! WELL SAID!

Lori
3 years 5 months ago

Danny, I am a fan of your Insights posts! Well thought-out and well said! “We all have important stuff to do!” So let’s get to it!

Craig McBreen
3 years 5 months ago

A bit off topic, but the current educational system in the U.S, is really a product of the 19th century. Kind of an industrial age relic. A factory model with a narrow focus on certain types of academic work. This works great for some kids, but so many are left out, and the left out are often looked down upon. Say if someone chooses to go to a trade school, that is often frowned upon. Anyway, as a result of the current system, too many people don’t discover their true talents early on, or they are taught those talents aren’t what they should embrace. They don’t find out who they are, because they are subject to the same rote memorization, etc. We need more than math and reading skills. Focus on what kids are good at, be it creativity in a certain area, the trades, etc.

Anyway, I guess that was a bit of a rant and I babbled on, but you are right about the way we look at life through funny lenses and see people in lesser light.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@Craig McBreen That’s the perfect example, mate – we’re killing futures by lame present options. Surely there’s got to be a better way?

Craig McBreen
3 years 5 months ago

@DannyBrown Sir Ken Robinson leads the charge. Great guy to check out if you’re interested in this issue.

Larissa
3 years 5 months ago

What about doctors? nurses? and so on….?

b
1 year 3 months ago

Larissa, those people’s jobs are perhaps more meaningful, but not more important. we’re an intertwined web of reliance. A doctor can’t do his job at a hospital without a petroleum engineer finding the oil to get him to work, can’t continue to operate without the jantior, can’t keep his patients safe without the engineers, and can’t get his money to keep the lights on without the accountant. All that matters is that you make the money you feel necessary and that you like your job. All else is trivial.

DannyBrown
3 years 5 months ago

@Larissa For sure, Larissa, and that enforces the point perfectly – there’s no such thing as “the most important job in the world”, since importance is relevant to different people.