Have you ever wondered why people in the work place denigrate custodians? Or even when people ask what a person does for a living and the person replies "custodian" people look in disgust and automatically assume that they are inferior. Well I have some news for anybody who thinks like this, just because the job does not require a PHD does not mean that the person is not worthy of having a PHD. There are people who do menial jobs whether its sanitation, working at a fruit market, or a school custodian, particularly people of lower class. These ordinary citizens who work hard in order to pay the bills at home and support their family may not have a degree that allows them to gain a higher income and can't afford to further their education.
Although most people who work menial jobs don't have degrees there are some who are highly intellectual individuals and acquire their knowledge through self study. Nobody would know this unless you took the time out to speak to a mailman, bus driver, or a janitor. If you do take the precious time to speak to somebody who works one of these jobs some of them possess more knowledge than anybody I know about history, politics, medicine, current events etc. This is sort of a branch off of my previous blog entry "judging a book by its cover"!
On the other hand if you speak to a lawyer you will find out in some cases that they have an enormous repository of knowledge centralized on their field. However, if you ask them about philosophy or science they may have no clue about any of those subjects! Where professionals are lacking is in the area of versatility. Unfortunately most professionals are so focused on their field that their worldview and knowledge base is myopic. So when you pair a stockbroker from Wall Street and a janitor the stockbroker may appear smarter because he is a professional but if they ever engage in a intellectual conversation the janitor may prove he is more intelligent. You should never be defined by your occupation or anything you do in life; you must define your occupation and shape it. If you view yourself as downtrodden and inferior then the world will view you as so, but if you see yourself as a successful business entrepeneur rather than just a sidewalk sweeper then the world will respond with equal intensity.
I personally believe that whatever you do in life is not a reflection of who are you but rather how you do it and the impact you have on others around you reveals your true character! Furthermore I profess that whatever your occupation may be, knowledge always prevails. The more you read and expose yourself to a variety of genres, themes, subjects and topics the stronger you become and the more well equipped you are to face life's challenges. Moreover you will be able to engage in conversation with anybody regardless of their field or occupation. Its important to know about stem cells but you should also know a little bit about the Yankees and American Idol. Education is the key to success whether its formal or informal, but versatility is the most crucial part.