Allan Takes Aim Blog

Life’s four great professions

Posted on: 12 May 2013

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Life’s four great professions

This particular blog did not come as the result of inspired thought but because an old envelope with a large and bright red capital P stamped on it that I had rescued from a collection of old envelopes, was sitting on my desk in front of the computer. For the life of me I can’t remember where the envelope came from but, no doubt when it came a letter was enclosed advising me of some wonder product that would make my life better, or a request for a donation from a charity I had never heard of.

However, while musing about what the P stood for it suddenly dawned on me that P was the first letter of four words that described four great professions: performer, priest, politician and prostitute professions which, in many ways, are associated with acting, a career I always wanted to take up. In fact my army discharge book shows acting as the choice of my future.

You might disagree and favour philosophy, psychology, policing and psychiatry. If you do, so be it. Perhaps you’re right, but nonetheless I’ll stick to my chosen four.

The reason for my choices:

First choice: Performer

Throughout my working life I have been described as many things, often uncomplimentary, as a performer as, indeed, as have many of you. Don’t believe me? Indeed, if you could look at reports about your working life almost certainly you will have been described as excellent performer; good performer; moderate performer; or poor performer. I am sure also that, like me, while you will be in complete agreement with the first description you will quarrel with the second and strongly refute three and four.

Second choice: Priest

A lot of people won’t agree with me that being a priest is a great profession but for millenniums the priesthood has attracted many people, even if for the wrong reasons. In my own case though it was only for a short period, I felt called to the priesthood, which, when I gave it up, left my mother distraught. And while my mother was distraught at my decision, the order I had entered was probably thankful.

But my brief association was illuminating. Indeed as I spoke to others who professed the same call it seemed to me that some wanted to be priests because subconsciously, they found the public rituals of priesthood satisfied their desire for recognition in the same way as actors.

Third choice: Politician

For many people being a politician is no longer a vocation but a profession because like the priesthood, it satisfies peoples’ need for recognition, something they achieve when playing in a parliament’s comedy of error. Unlike actors, many stay on the political stage until the audience decides they have had enough of their bad acting.

Unlike actors, however, most politicians are well paid with good conditions and very good perks. It is unfortunate, however, that some gain fame not because of their acting prowess in their parliamentary comedies of error but for exceeding the lawful use of their political power in the search for even better perks.

Fourth choice: Prostitute

Now you might find it strange to find me saying that being a prostitute is to be a member of a great profession. These days, of course, in civilised parts of the world (with some exceptions) prostitutes have been replaced by sex workers.

I can’t speak for male philosophers or psychologists but it is known that, over the years, priests and politicians have enjoyed the professional services of sex workers. But what makes it a great profession is that having members of two two such professions using their services they seem to have the best of all worlds: priests to save their soul; and politicians as patrons. I can only add that my research indicates low unemployment in this profession.

Comment welcome.

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