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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"
True to Breed
by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
On Wednesdays when I am driving home from work I like to listen to a program on the radio (KROU) called "Calling All Pets." It is hosted by Trisha McConnell who is a zoologist and animal behavior specialist. People call her from all over the country for advice on training their animals. I really enjoy listening to this program, especially if I have had a difficult day at work, because Dr. McConnell loves her job. She LUH-UH-UH-VES it! You can hear her happiness and enthusiasm in her voice. If she was a grout inspector or a removing gum from theater seats specialist and was as enthusiastic about those things as she is about animal behavior I would still listen to her just for the pleasure of hearing somebody who is so fulfilled and so very, very happy.

People frequently call her with questions about training their dogs and Dr. McConnell will say, "Oh yes, your dog is doing that because he is a Something Or The Other and they have been bred for centuries to do that sort of thing." It occurred to me that our lives would be so much simpler if people were classified by breeds.

There could be Engineering Breeds and Medical Breeds and Construction Breeds and Organization Breeds. Mothers could tell their sons, "Well, certainly you can go for a degree in Hospitality Industry son, but my side of the family are all Musicians and your fatherís side are all Manufacturers. Why donít you think about learning to build oboes instead?" The sonís face would light up with revelation. "Build oboes? Thatís perfect! Thatís exactly what I want to do! I will learn to build them and then I will design a better oboe! I will create the most beautiful oboe there has ever been!" and he would live the rest of his life happy and fulfilled by his career.

Things would be so much easier. It would be less expensive to go to college because you would know what you wanted to study and would not have to waste any time or money on classes trying to "find" yourself. You would know within a general category or two what you were suited to do. Think of the soul searching and angst that would be avoided! Think of all the nights spent in coffee shops, of all the hours spent laying on your tummy in bed wondering and wondering what you will do that could then be put to productive use.

And then, think too of the benefits to society if everyone had a career for which they were physically and temperamentally suited! You would never find a man with the soul of a park ranger trapped for all his days in a windowless cubicle becoming more frustrated and bitter each day until all his happiness was compressed into a little nugget hidden somewhere deep within his chest where he could never feel it or find it or even know that it was still there. Husbands and wives who were thrilled with their occupations would make much happier couples and raise happier families. Mothers would never sigh to their daughters, "Donít make the mistakes I made. Do not become a dental hygienist when you really want to paint houses. Follow your dreams dear, dare to climb the highest scaffold, feel the sun hot on your head, smell the crisp, clean bite of enamel in the air. Go for a High Gloss life darling!"

Wouldnít it be wonderful if you could go in to see your high school counselor and he would be a person for whom counseling teens was better than anything else in the world. You would go into his office at the age of fourteen and he would say, "Good morning Suzy! Sit! Good girl! Treat! Now, I see that you are a Textile Worker and Architect mix, hmm? Thatís a nice mix, yes it is! Treat! You might consider fashion design or civil engineering or any of these other careers in these pamphlets. Thatís a girl!"

Think how enjoyable our everyday lives would be if everyone loved their job passionately. Food would be more delicious, our clothes would be more beautiful, our cars would be repaired properly the first time, our houses would last centuries, our perfume would really suit us. Big business would benefit by not having to pay employees for "mental health" days and health care costs would plummet if people were happier with their lives. Addiction issues would disappear entirely from our scope of experience and people would be inclined to take very good care of themselves so that they could live longer and enjoy their jobs for more years. There would be no strife in the workplace, nor any strife anywhere at all. Itís a pity it isnít that simple for human folks. Itís just a pity we canít live with a dogís simplicity and clarity of purpose. If only it was a dogís life!
© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" - January 2, 2006 Column
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