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Why am I in Development? (Catherine C.)

March 13, 2010

« Stop working, get a life!! »

I am lazy; I never want to work.  The concept of working 8 hours a day to then start ‘living’ at 5pm: I don’t get it.  I don’t know how so many people can get through that without flipping out and committing atrocities.

But at the same time, I work more than the others: I am compulsively over-motivated and get involved into just enough things to avoid nervous breakdown.

I have issues, I guess.

So, a lot of people in my dear Western society feel that because of their work they have no life. Conversely, I want my work to be my life. I want my work to be so topical that it feels natural spending most of my time on it. I want my work to makes so much sense to me I won’t have to pay a psychologist when I hit 50 to ramble on about the meaning of my life.  And I won’t get that by volunteering two hours per week. By choosing development, I wish my work will be exactly that: full-time purposeful and/or stimulating. Ideally. Simply running the 9-5pm routine, I know I’ll turn psychotic.

So really I am doing it for my mental health.

(Yep, paradoxically be choosing a field that will never allow my brain to rest in peace, for we will never be ‘done’. Until one of us finds the peace-on-earth  regression, of course)

Talking about mental health… We’re pretty strong, pals.  I mean maths, physics … pretty easy, no?  You calculate; you get a number. Done. At least you get some form of answer.  Social sciences are Uncertainty. Development is Uncertainty.

Not why I am in development: to be a lifesaver.

There is never one right answer. It’s always a complex-comprensive-holistic-multisectoral-multidisciplinary approach.  Obnoxious, isn’t it?  We will deal everyday with insecurity and parts-of-an-answer.  In addition to insecurity of employment, for many of us.  That has got to show some mental strength, somehow, I’d like to think.

A final thought on mental strength and development: there’s a little 4 words phrase that I think is a sign of weakness, and it is the hatred of it that brought me in development:   I. don’t. care. I cannot let people get away with this.  Not caring is not an argument or an opinion. It is just too easy.

Basically, I am a woman: I cannot make it simple when it can be complicated

Hence I chose development.  ; )

One Comment leave one →
  1. Felix Baden-Powell permalink
    March 14, 2010 4:44 pm

    Totally agree re the mental health. I also feel that those who mindlessly do the 9-5 or worse…longer hours… are to some extent wasting their lives. I have a friend who said he would feel free when he was 40, when the hours would be less long…that’s twenty years away!!

    Some of us have been privileged to have received some of the best education and with that privilege I believe we have a responsibility to others, to try to alleviate some of the injustices in the world, some of the inequities but also to be truly happy with ourselves. I feel that a career in development, whilst challenging is a cause worth struggling for. It may be difficult, but that doesn’t mean we should just ignore the issues like so many people, rather we should continue to adapt to ever changing circumstances and try to rectify some of the issues, while guarding against the possible negative implications of our actions.

    I am truly grateful that I have met so many like minded people at the LSE and hope that once we finish that we countinue to help and support one another in our various pursuits. Strength in numbers.

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