Friday, July 14, 2006

From the Encyclopedia of Experience: Pomposity
Someone who works here drives a BMW Z4* with the license plate "Z4 PHD", also displaying their educational achievements (I assume--I don't know the person). I've walked passed the car many, many times, but today as I looked at it, I began to wonder why someone would put that on their license plate. Those are great achievements, yes, but still, why call attention to them? I mean, you've already got them, so they're not for you to set your goals by. So who are they for? And especially when you're working at a place like this, a private Christian university, the primary goals of which are to free people from feeling like their degree is simply intended to be a showpiece or resume entry?
Now I must reiterate, I do not know this individual; while the temptation to make certain assumptions about the person is there, he or she may very well be a very different kind of person.
But you've got to wonder, right?
We live in a world which will tell you the value of your job is reflected by how much you're paid or what you drive, that the value of your achievement is reflected by your net worth, that, once you've got your PhD or Doctorate of any kind, you've arrived and can now feel free to spend the remainder of your time on earth in pretentious bombasts. We live in a time when people hide their insecurities behind their financial net worth or the facade of a financial net worth. I'm not going to lie, I find myself doing that from time to time. (If I don't struggle with it as much, it's because of the lack of space to hide, not my perfection! :))
You're valuable, my friend, even if you don't have a degree yet. What you can do as you are is important. And I hope that when we finally get that PhD, or any degree for that matter, and the accompanying sports car that (apparently) goes with it, we can make more of it and of ourselves than a lot of hot air with which to fill our chests and brand our license plates.
*In case you feel like ogling and indulging the owner:

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