After digging through all my old emails, I ran into this old thing: a copy of my 2007 SAT Essay. Ironically enough it answers the same question I have previously addressed on my blog (with the same answer). It is attached below, and transcribed (in case you can’t read my writing).
This was the prompt:
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the Assignment below:
Most human beings spend their lives doing work they hate and work that the world does not need. It is of prime importance that you learn early what you want to do and whether or not the world needs this service. The return from your work must be the satisfaction that work brings you and the world’s need of that work. Income is not money, it is satisfaction; it is creation; it is beauty. Adapted from W.E.B. Du Bois, The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century
Assignment: Is it more important to do work that one finds fulfilling or work that pays well? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
In the modern age that we live in, people are conflicted as how to make ends meet in the world. With poverty as clear as ever, people have to choose a profession that can serve them moneywise for themselves and perhaps, often at times, their family. However, because of the Capitalist society that we engage in daily, it is imperative that one finds work that not only provides income, but satisfies their needs in life, uplifting and fulfilling them.
Humans at time strive for unrealistic goals, almost a fantasy world of a Utopia we can reach. Nevertheless, that is not saying it is impossible for us to get close to a goal of a perfect society. Thomas More wrote in “Utopia” of a society where all the members worked together to create a harmonius, and satisfying end result. People can only be satisfied if they do something they want to do, to not only benefit society as a whole, but to fulfill their basic needs of enjoyment in life. To reach this “Utopia”, people must learn to enjoy their profession so that the entire world can achieve a harmonius balance.
Choosing professions is often a difficult peril, but humans generally go to college to receive a degree to pursue the career of their choice. People go to college because they are striving for the basic necessities of life. Most of the time, they would not spend money or more years in college working for something that is dull, but pays well. Take the example of a college student working part-time at McDonald’s. They receive money from this scorned job, but it doesn’t satisfy them, because the job is often dull, repetitive, and a waste of their talents.
People that choose professions early for money often regret this career decision later in life. In pop culture, several renowed “celebrities” are atypically happy. Dr. Phil pursued his career route as a psychiatrist because of his love for helping people. Kiefer Sutherland chose a profession as an actor because he loved acting. Both of these people didn’t know that they were going to reach stardom, or even be famous. Dr. Phil was a psychiatrist who never knew that he would be something more, a role model for all persons alike. Kiefer Sutherland got guest cameos, but never knew he would reach instant success and become the highest paid actor on television in “24″. People that choose professions based on what they prefer often enhance better in life, because they are good at it and happy doing it.
From our childhood, we have been asked time and time again “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Why? Because of the reason we should be whoever we want to be, and not corrupt out of our necessity for greed and wealth. Kiefer Sutherland and Dr. Phil are two prominent examples of people who love what they do. A college student working part time at McDonald’s is an example of someone who hates what he does. If we all choose a profession we enjoy, we benefit outselves more and also help society reach its “Utopia”. Even if we achieve a career that pays well but doesn’t benefit ourselves in happiness, we will reach a high level of stress and sorrow over our depression. Once everyone in the world realizes we can all benefit from choosing a self-gratifying career rather than an easy get-rich scheme, thew orld will be a much healthier and happier place.