We talk about respect a lot. We talk about how important it is to respect the elders. We talk about how important it is to respect women. We talk about how important it is to respect people from every walks of life. However, this last point is easily forgotten when it comes to respecting people from all professions.

I live in a country where the most desirable professions are still doctors and engineers. All other professions are just worthless. There have been some changes about this opinion especially among young people in the recent times. That is why I, who wanted to be a doctor when I was little decided to become a writer and a translator when I was old enough to make a choice, even when I had enough educational qualifications to follow Biology for the A/Ls. I understood not everyone has to be a doctor if we are to serve this society. Some may disagree with me, but the majority of the open minded people will agree with me.

For me, choosing a profession should happen because we truly want to be in that field. However, that can be hard depending on your financial situation. There are times you may have to take the opportunity that you have in order to survive. At such a point, choosing a career because you have to, is acceptable.

However, there are always people in this society who have the necessary freedom and the financial background to make whatever choice they want to make. As I said earlier, I live in a country where the most accepted profession is either becoming a doctor or an engineer. I really do not know how many of these people actually want to enter these fields because they love the profession, because they want to do their due diligence to the society in the best way they can. From what I have seen and heard they enter, especially, the medical field because they want that immediate recognition and respect the society bestows on them and, of course, the monetary gain. If they really entered the medical field because they cared our state hospital system would be the most efficient in the whole wide world.

Every profession deserves respect because every one of those people are contributing to the society. If we do not have the garbage men and women, who would keep our cities clean? Would you volunteer for that? Of course not. Almost all of us cover our noses while we pass a garbage dump or a garbage truck. Then, the least you can do is showing some respect for those people. My parents have always showed us that is the right way to live through their actions. Whenever someone comes to do some work for us we pay them the right amount. Most of the time, my parents give them some extra money to take some sweets or so for their kids. After every Sinhala New Year celebration, we and the neighbours give sweetmeats and some beverages for the crew of the garbage truck. We do not have to. However, we do that because we see them as humans and we want to show our respect for the service they do to us.

I think the respect for all professions, like many other things, should come from home. If you are a parent obsessed about making your child a doctor and says or does things to make him or her aware of that fact from the childhood the child is definitely going to follow those ideas. Also, as parents, people should show their respect for every professional beginning from the gardener. It is time for a change of opinions people. Sri Lanka, this is specially for your attention!

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