My parents are very supportive of my passions in life. While my dad has jokingly suggested that I should become a lawyer a multitude of times, I know at the end of the day he will be proud of whatever I end up doing. However, there are many parents and other adults out there who look at my Bachelor of Arts in environmental science, hear me discuss my passions, and question my capability of success due to the probable low pay and riskiness of the jobs I desire. These people need to understand a few things.
First, not everyone is meant to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. While I would love the paycheck and job safety of these jobs, I either don't have the capability to do the job or the passion to do it. To me, passion is just as important as capability because you should devote your life to doing what makes you happy and what you feel is the best use of your talents.
Additionally, money is often used as an indicator of success, but success should not be solely based on the money you make. Every person should have their own definition of success that is determined by what they want to achieve in their lifetime. Personally, I aim to help solve issues in education, poverty, climate change, and biodiversity, so the results of my actions should be what defines my success. More often than not, people who are involved in those issues have to be proud of their small victories because societal and ecological issues exist due to many compounding factors. Let it be known, I am perfectly fine with accepting those small victories.
Yet, the success I desire cannot and will not happen if everyone is constantly discouraged to fight against these societal and ecological problems. Each notable movement, invention, or even policy that has been created in this world was born out of the uncomfortable risk of many people.
Every time someone tells me that I should try to get one of those safer jobs, they imply to me that they don't believe that the risk is worth it and that I should find another way to care about these issues. This is offensive to me because I am trying to make the world a better place and if nobody tries because it is difficult, how is anything supposed to get better? Sometimes you just have to have faith in yourself and what you believe in. The last thing I want to have in life is the regret that I squandered my potential by settling for a safer job.
So just please be considerate to those who are opting to not make money in order to do something that they are passionate about. If that career will make them have a sense of fulfillment and will allow them to experience what they want in life, isn't that what really matters?