While participating in a Career Day last week at Hawthorne, California Middle School, I was moved by the degree with which the 6th and 7th graders were intrigued by the profession of architecture. They were excited, most of all, by a career where one actually made money by drawing, and beyond that by the general principle of being in a position to create something unique.
It reminded me that all of us, in our own way, look to stamp our imprint on the life of the planet, from immediate family to the family of Man. Architecture, despite all its rules and regulations, the functions it serves, and the needs of the client, is one of those professions where service meets creativity in a big way. But that is also true of countless other professions, maybe ALL professions.
At the end of the (career) day, we are all called by creativity in the service of others, by the words of the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote:
To give of one’s self, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation, to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.
I should have remembered to tell the students that part, the part where it doesn’t matter what you do as a career, as long as you do it for the right reasons and with a personal sense of passion.