HOMEGROWN Life: Who Needs a Calling When There's So Much to Do?


I don’t know about you, but I have always been confused about that notion of a calling—you know, our society’s continued preoccupation with occupation.

“What are you gonna be when you grow up?”

“What do you do for a living?”

“Do you think that could be your calling?”

Maybe people in urban America keep the conversation focused on careers. But in ruralVintage Missouri Farmers communities,especially those where you’re part of a local family that has lived nearby “forever,” the question of your calling comes up repeatedly. You see the same people again and again, at the baseball field or the gas station or the library fundraiser dinner. They remember you going through school, getting good grades, heading off to college. They wonder why you were gone for a while and then they wonder how you were able to move back home. And then, when they finally get around to it, they ask about your career. Your calling.

You see, this topic opens up a can of worms in small towns. When you’re a college-bound kid, you get celebrated by the locals. They want to send you off to make something of yourself. The grand narrative is that you need to go out there and make money and get the kind of career you can’t have back home. Go be a big-hitting lawyer or maybe a doctor. Go be a businessman of some kind. Be an engineer. Join the upper middle class and its trappings. Be part of the mobile class of professionals.

7/16/2013 2:11:58 PM

Nice article!!

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