I have many things to say. Let me just start off with disclosing that throughout high school, my peer-given nickname was “trailerpark”, mostly because that’s where the bus let me off to go to our mobile home.
My entire family for many generations are generally blue collar workers- loggers, truck drivers, mechanics, factory floor workers. Never for one minute would I believe that I am smarter than any one of my family members. We all have different (and equally valuable) skills. I sleep under blankets my mother made and drive a car that my dad maintains. My books rest on a shelf my father in law built. My food comes from a farm down the road, and my child plays at a daycare center and comes home knowing new things every day.
People who value one set of knowledge over another are willfully ignorant of the skills they don’t possess.
Class problems in medical school are a big deal. Not very many poor people make it in to medical school because it’s expensive to get there. College is expensive. Application fees are expensive. Flying for interviews is expensive. If you’re thinking “Just get a job” or if you thought “good students get scholarships”, think again. I was a good student on 75% scholarship for 4 years and I worked three jobs through most of college. My monetary situation has limited where I was able to apply. It limited what books I was able to buy. It limited the business clothes I was able to source. It continues to limit my options, as I go further and further in to debt to pursue this passion.
Often my classmates are not nice about this. I’ve had classmates tell me to buy new clothes because I looked “frumpy”. I’ve had classmates be derisive that I was not buying study aids that they were using. I’ve even had a classmate tell me, and I quote: “I wish I could be happy being poor like you, but I want my children to experience the world, to know that there’s more than just America, and to have opportunities to explore.” Yeah. They actually said that to my face.
The thing about humans is that we’re marvelously complex. No one is “worth more” than anyone else. No job is worth more than another. My dad is fond of telling me that if truck drivers stopped working for a single week, the whole nation would collapse. I believe him.
My hubby is not a doctor. He’d like to be a nurse, but he’s happy being an MHA for now, so I can finish my schooling first. Let me tell you, if all the MHAs and CNAs quit working, patients would die.
I’ve washed dishes and cooked food and poured drinks and cleaned houses and every single one of those jobs was important. We are all important.
The next time someone says that another person isn’t “smart enough” or doesn’t “make enough money”, let’s talk about wage inequality and the implications behind that job not existing anymore. Let’s talk about the cost of living in reality. Let’s talk about what happens when everyone is an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer and no one grows food or fixes toilets anymore. Let’s value our artists, our garbage collectors, our flower growers, our laundry service, our AC repair folks, our blue collar workers and our white collar supporters.
Be honest. Without them, we can’t do what we do.
That applies for every single profession out there.