In college I was a Spanish major and there was a girl in several of my classes who was a Spanish minor. She was very attractive but her Spanish skills were lacking. One day she told me that she didn’t even like speaking Spanish that she was just taking the classes to get the minor. This prompted my question, “why get the minor?” “Because it will look good on my resume.” At this point, I was flabbergasted. “Isn’t the company that is impressed by that going to expect that you’ll be able to use the language?” This thought had never occurred to her.
In this world of standardization, classification and certification, the papers that we are able to collect seem to hold too much weight. The story of my Spanish-challenged classmate is not made up and unfortunately not uncommon. Our diplomas and grades are collected in the hope that it will bring us to that promised land in the future. The issue is that when we have all of the papers that someone says we need, will we be able to do anything?
Perhaps, paper is not the thing that we need to collect. Maybe there are better commodities out there to be sought. Rather than collecting paper, we should be collecting: thoughts, hearts, minds, influence, respect, trust, love, esteem, help, counsel, ideas, laughter, smiles, jokes, hugs, handshakes, pats on the back, kisses, and the list goes on and on.
I’d rather struggle to get in the door because I lack the paper rather than being pushed out the door because my paper was meaningless.