IMAGINE you live in a
community where everyone is given a job or duty that they will have for the rest of
their lives! A community where one is not allowed to go to college or
encouraged to chase their own dreams or aspirations. Everyone has a certain role
even if it isn’t what they wanted to do with their life. In Lois
Lowry’s novel The Giver, a young boy named Jonas lived in such a
community. Jonas was assigned a position of high honor in his
community and will have the weight of his entire community on his shoulders. Jonas was soon burdened with the position he once was honored to attain.
Jonas’ community, every member receives a job or duty at a special ceremony the year
that they will or have turned twelve. The role that is chosen for them is
done so based on what type of character traits they have exhibited in their
first twelve years of life. At the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas is given the
position of Receiver of Memory. This position will require Jonas to be the holder of the memories of the past that
the communities' citizens can no longer experience. This particular
position is a high honor in the communities' eyes and Jonas will be looked upon as wise and
dependable. Even though Jonas' community follows a
strict code of "Sameness" where everyone respects each other and pulls their weight in the community, some positions in the community are not honored as much as others. Similar to Jonas' community, in today's society different jobs hold different levels of respect in our society. Some jobs require more education or training than others. We, as a society, also judge others on their occupation and how much money they make. These judgments might be inaccurate. It is unfair to assume some occupations aren't as valuable as others when one has never actually done that particular job. Furthermore, in today's society we are not required to be the same as one another but we do struggle to attain a position in society that is economically comfortable and respected in our community.
During this activity you will be given the opportunity to analyze a particular occupation in today's society.
When researching this occupation, ask yourself these questions:
What is the job's description? What does this job entail? What type of education or training is required to attain this position? How is this job viewed in our society? Is the perception of the job in our society true or highly inaccurate and under appreciated? Is it overly respected?
These questions are to be considered in the beginning stages of this activity.