So, what do you do for a living?  Picture yourself on a night out.  You’re at a party amongst some good friends.  Perhaps there are many there as well that you don’t know.  Now take a minute and consider how many times you’ve been asked (or have asked others) this question as a way to “break the ice” of conversation with another person.  “So, what do you do for a living?” Maybe for you this is one of the default “curiosity” questions in your repertoire that you routinely use to simply learn more about another person.  Let’s think on this some more.

Though I think many of us are keenly interested in what others do for a living it seems that we would be well served to invoke a commonly used strategy of legal redirection and call into question the question.  Consider with me for a moment the potential game-changing implications of removing just one word from the question, the word “a.”  Now let’s restate the question.  “So, what do you do for living?”  Can you just imagine how the thread of conversation might change if we were to share with each other what brings us life rather than just simply perpetuating our “identity crisis” as we lead with a narrative of how we make money?  Wouldn’t a resulting benefit be that we would begin to share more of “who” we are with each other which might in turn serve to stimulate greater degrees of authentic conversation?  Might a simple restatement of the question point us more towards our “being” rather than our “doing?” Or could this be one of the ways that we can move from being so task-oriented to becoming more others-oriented?  Perhaps the question would help us become “known well” by others so that we can more quickly arrive at the place where we are simply free to be ourselves.  In the end, it just seems living life holds so much more potential reward than just making a living.  Peace.