The Smart Ones of Society

Do you ever sometimes look at jobs other people have and think, “Wow, what they do is big time work. It must really be something to have a job that has so much importance placed on it and requires an immense amount of skill and talent to carry out” ?

This weekend I had these thoughts circulate in my head a couple of times.

On Friday I went to the theater and watched “Zero Dark Thirty”. The movie chronicles the CIA hunt for Osama Bin Laden. At the conclusion of the film, the special forces mission that went into Bin Laden’s compound and took him out was depicted. Watching this group of talented soldiers carry out such a dangerous mission definitely got me thinking about how incredible and valuable these people are. I don’t think any civilian can really comprehend how special these elite troops in the military are to us. They really do carry out the impossible and make it so we can continue to live in the best country in the world.

How do you put a value on people like that? How do you put a value on people who have received and mastered training that is probably 1,000x more sophisticated than we can imagine? How do you put a value on people who can go into the most hostile of places on foreign soil and execute missions that if not done perfectly result in death for those involved and perhaps catastrophic consequences for the country?

But it is just not the people doing jobs that protect our national security that make me think I got it easy in my daily tasks. Tonight I watched the Oscar’s and I felt the same way I have felt the past few years…many of the people who work in the movies are complete geniuses! Take some of these movie makers who are making animated films. The technology and crafting of these productions is amazing. I can’t even begin to think of the thought process that occurs when someone decides on an animation concept and then actually creates it and turns it into a movie that people fall in love with. Just thinking of the work and brain power that is involved in producing something as beautiful as “Avatar” or “The Life of Pi” boggles my mind. To know that some human beings are capable of creating something like that is pretty neat. Again, the amount of talent out there is amazing.

But it is just not the animators in the movie business that blow my mind. How about the people who are charged with costumes? Could you imagine the workload of the person who was in charge of “Lincoln”? Man, all the research, the purchasing, the devising, and the fitting for a humongous cast had to be an outrageously gigantic job. Or what about people who are in charge of the sound for these productions? All the work that goes into making a production sound realistic yet pleasing to the ear of the viewer (no matter how displeasing the actual sound is) requires a truly unique talent. And then of course there is the director, the person who must oversee the multi million dollar budgets of these films as well as the thousands of people working on the movie while creating something that is going to attract millions of people to the theater. Talk about pressure.

Although I got reminded of the above professions this weekend, there are other jobs that I constantly think about and just shake my head at because of all the intelligence and skill involved. Take building planes, jets, and space shuttles. What if someone told you right now that they want you to lead a project where you had to create something that soared through the air, traveled hundreds of miles per hour, and could safely carry a hundred people in it? You would probably cry. But in this world there are people who can build these things called airplanes, an invention that has revolutionized our way of life and made long distance travel possible.

Then I frequently think about our doctors who are performing surgeries each day. Anyone else find it incredible how some people are smart enough to cut into someone when they are close to death and perform maneuvers that will save that person’s life? Talk about the need for confidence! To be able to use one’s hands to make someone else’s internal organs right again is pretty special.

Don’t get me wrong, my job requires skill and talent as well. I think just sometimes I get wrapped up so much in intercollegiate athletic marketing and new media that I do forget about some of the other professions out there. And then when I do get the chance to see a movie or watch an awards show or look in the sky and I see the important and involved work other people are doing my eyes get opened a little bit. It is good to take time to recognize the work that others do in society to help make this world go round. We all have our talents and contributions to offer society, I am just glad there are many people out there smarter than me. Don’t Blink.