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When Your Family Prefers the Engineer

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Before I formally begin this post, I'd like to say that I do not intent to offend/discriminate/exclude engineers, and that I think engineers do an amazing job. I've personally delved into "part" of engineering (well, not really, but I like to think so), so I have nothing but respect for ya'll. I'm just using 'engineer' as a word to substitute all careers that grandparents, aunts and uncles love for their relatives to have, since that's the always-loved career that I've grown up with. 

Okay, now that that's been cleared up, let me set a scenario for you.

You're at a family gathering (or clan reunion, to make it even crazier). All of your relatives are there, even the ones you thought didn't exist, and there's that familiar sound of aunts chatting and gossiping. You enter the room with your parents and get on with formalities. A kiss on the cheek, forced smiles, all that prerequisite stuff. Then, you hear what almost aunt or uncle has said.

"Jimmy's an engineer now. He works at this fancy place and knows all these fancy people." 

Well, they don't say that exactly, unless they're pretentious asses, but hey, you get the point. Suddenly your other aunts and uncles and grandparents look to this Jimmy kid and praise him like he's some kind of savior. Other aunts and uncles pitch in by stating the occupations/careers of their children like it's some kind of requirement at family gatherings, while their kids just awkwardly stand at the side.

That, my friends, is something that absolutely annoys me. I cringe every time someone in the family raves about a certain niece or nephew's achievements or career, as if it was their OWN achievement. I cringe even more when family members single out a certain relative just because of his/her "amazing" career. By amazing I mean "stamped with the seal of approval from older relatives". 

It's like, somehow, there are certain careers that are considered good enough for family, like engineer, doctor, politician, architect, businessman, and that they're the only ones WORTHY of being talked about. There was one time where I was sitting around with family, and there were guests around (ugh, see where this is going?), and my grandfather told them all about how my cousin was doing all this awesome shit in his grandfather-approved career. 

Okay, first of all, it isn't your achievement. Secondly, what makes it so special compared to other careers? What makes being a doctor/engineer/whatever so great that it needs to be discussed every time you feel the need to "brag"? What about careers in fields such as the arts, science, technology?  There are some badass people working in those fields, and I'm pretty sure they equal your idea of success if you just gave them a chance.

I'm just saying that you can't measure someone's achievements based on the title of their profession or chosen career. Heck, you could have Engineer in your name but be the worst engineer in history. You could also be a teacher (often looked at as an "average" profession, based on experience) but you're a great teacher who teaches out of passion, and yet relatives see that as unsatisfactory. 

I genuinely hope I don't become one of those aunts or uncles who brag too much about their kids, and who force their kids to choose careers that are "known" to be "appropriate" measures of success. We can do whatever we want, choose whatever career path we like, and work with passion because it is not about impressing family. It should NEVER be about impressing family. 

It's about us doing what we want to do, even if that means not getting talked about at family reunions.
8 comments on "When Your Family Prefers the Engineer"
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  2. awesome post really i mean it ! i like it a lot! and you're doing a great job keep it up mate :)
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  3. HAHA, lol. Even every family wants some of their children to become doctor or engineer. And this is the main aim of any family these days. I loved your engineer journey too

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