Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The World's Most Important Job

Spirituality has always come from rivers. The Nile gave birth to western civilization which cradled Christianity and Islam. The Indus germinated eastern systems which sprouted Hinduism and Buddhism. Yet, the holy water that completes the holy trinity is less known.

As a professor at Papaloapan University, I am astonished how few people realize that the watershed of the jade green Papaloapan River was bedrock foundation for a new world society which constructed a new world ideology. Perhaps we who live in the Americas, who know much about religions from abroad, should learn more about the faith of our homeland.

This month, our campus hosted Papaloapan Culture Week. As I observed the salsa-maker and tortilla-maker canvases shown here, I pondered two deep questions. Who are the real artists - the painters or the cooks portrayed? Which is the real art - the paintings or the food prepared?

For most of history, only two jobs existed: food prep and child rearing. Fortunately, these are also the only tasks essential to our species' survival. Lacking a magical built-in milk-maker/ baby-pacifier, men rightly put their bigger muscles to work chasing down food and trying to look necessary.

A few thousand years ago, farmer was added to the jobs list. Then settlements and professions multiplied. Men quickly filled these newer but less-critical occupations. Pride being the deadly sin it is, men soon began claiming these tasks were somehow higher status. They arrogantly oppressed homemakers with the patronizing question, "What did you do all day?"

In modern times, feminist movements wisely rejected the erroneous idea that women are of less value. Sadly, the equally-false conception that women's traditional trades were of less value went mostly unchallenged. Those who devote the majority of their time to food prep and child rearing today face not only ridicule by haughty machismos but by condescending feminists too.

I'll always support a woman's right to equally access silly jobs like professor, priest, or president. Why not? However, when we "professionals" allow our egos to suggest the harmful and wrong-headed notion that our work is more important than the primal stuff, somebody has to smack us down.

Those of us who get to play in offices all day should be grateful and give due respect to those who do the heavy lifting. Only food prep and child rearing are essential. Only food prep and child rearing can keep future generations from being as physically fat and psychologically unstable as many of us are. 

Shout as loud as you want how you're offended by what I'm saying. That won't make it less true. I'll always revere the millions of mostly women who perform the priority tasks for humanity and I'll encourage others to have the humility and morality to recognize this higher calling. True spirituality is just facing reality. Long live the corn goddess, so the rest of us may too.


  1. josefina cruz sanchezMarch 6, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I like these fhotos because are feminists and because promote the equality of men and women.

  2. maybe because we have left in oblivion
    that bad because we do not care.
    Mariana Méndez Morales.

  3. is to ignore what we really
    and wanting to be other people.