People Aren’t What They Do

One unfortunate practice among English speakers, and possibly among speakers of most other languages as well, is the description of people by their profession.  For instance, if Wilma practices accounting as a profession, people would say that Wilma is an accountant.  The problem arises from the fact that when a person is defined by a profession, or by any other single characteristic, focus is shifted to some trivial imagined difference, and we lose sight of the fact that all people have more in common that not.  The truth is that Wilma is a human being who practices accounting for a living, but that is awkward to say, so people shorten it to Wilma is an accountant, losing sight of the fact that she is primarily a human being, not a profession.

About Mark James Wooding

I was born. I was scared. I tried to get back to the warm place, but they wouldn't let me. I cried. Since that quite unexpected and traumatic event, I've been trying to make the best of things. I've written a book called Seek Wisdom, Practice Kindness, which contains a philosophy of life as well as an attempt to describe why people do the things they do. I edited a book called The Magical World of Poetry, a collection of public domain poetry that includes many of the traditional favorites and a few others I was fortunate enough to come across. Both books can be read on their respective websites, which are listed in my Links section. I also wrote a novel called Sasha and Samantha Save the World, which is available on
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