The Zoo of Jobs

The more I think about it, the more I feel I've made a big mistake. Or maybe I haven't.

Imagine this. You're on an indefinite term in jail. No, jail's too harsh. Let's call this a zoo. You're one of those many human-animals that are captured, and kept in protection in the zoo. You've been captivated for months now, and have hated every minute of the feeling. You're wise, you're strong, but like every other human-animal, you live in this zoo, waiting for the day you'll be free. Every day you dream of what this day would have been like had you been free - from the city you would choose to live in to the people you'd like to do meet and do business with, the food you'd eat and the place you'd like to call home. If only you were free right this very day. Every week or so, the zoo has visitors- people from the industry, factory owners who tour the zoo and observe the animals inside. These visitors spend hours trying to find a right fit for the sort of factory they're running. You stay in hiding, coming out of your cave for only those visitors you think you're worthy of. You know you're good, and you know specifically the sort of visitor you'd like to impress and leave the zoo with - one with a big name.

And one fine day, finally the visitor you're looking for arrives at the zoo. You come out of hiding. He's the one you've been wanting to work for. He observes you. He takes a good number of hours, noticing every single move of yours, the way you react when you are pelted with stones, how quick your reactions are, both physically and mentally. You are nervous, but give your best. He ends up loving every aspect about you. He finally comes up to you and poses a final question.

He says, I can give you freedom, this very minute, but there's a catch. You get to work with me, but you'll have to live in the forest outside the city, catching bugs and fireflies, maintain the already carved wood sculptures.

And you sit there, confused. You have two options.
You have the chance to get out of this zoo you hate so much, to leave with the visitor you wanted, except you never thought the visitor would make you do silly bug catching. Now that you realize it, you're certain you don't want to catch fireflies and maintain the already sculptured wood. You're the sort of person that carves raw wood, gives it a nice shape and maybe makes a tool that's useful for other people to use. Maybe if you choose to maintain and catch bugs today, the visitor may give you a chance to become a sculptor one day- but that day may ever come, and you would dislike every day until that day comes. You know you're good enough to be a sculptor already.
Or, take the hard road. Continue living in the zoo, settling for the next visitor that allows you to carve your own wood instead of maintaining someone else's wood. Maybe the next visitor isn't as good/big/famous as this visitor. But you'll be happy, because you'll be carving wood.


I chose to stay in the zoo.


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