Desk-job Heroes (Part 1)

We have all read books about courageous heroes and heroines that pilgrim into the middle of the deepest, darkest areas to save people, animals, rain-forests and unattractive insects. If you are anything like me, you might think to yourself, “Wow, that person really is living life to the fullest and making a difference!” This got me questioning, as a young professional who works in a corporate environment, am I having any kind of impact in this world, or am I simply weathering out the storm of inconsequential corporate battles each day?

When I read of these tales of legends, their days seem action-packed with never-a-dull moment. However, in a corporate day, I find moments filled with meetings and reading articles of little interest to me in the name of searching for the piece of information that will lead me to the results I need. At the end of each day, as I enthusiastically recite the events of my day to my husband over dinner, filling him in on office politics, funny stories and the latest editions of office pranks, I realize that none of these events lead to a world-changing phenomena. No endangered species was just rescued of its last breath, and no community has been exposed to educational material and fresh drinking water.

I, like most millennials, take a firm stand on recycling, reducing plastic consumption and buying locale produce. Every little bit counts, but at the end of the day, am I leading in a revolt that will reshape the future? Probably not. Is the “right thing to do” really on account of what we feel is right, or are we simply doing it to indulge ourselves with a feel-good feeling, and to have the pleasure of mentioning in conversation how outstanding our “plastic-free July” is going? I’m not sure. But this does lead me to my point, how can everyone be a modern-day hero without resigning from our job, defaulting on bills, and ultimately becoming “one with nature” in a remote forest.

Whilst chatting to a colleague on the above, she mentioned that without big corporates like us, funding these such pilgrimages into the arctic to measure ice-cap carbon and the like, would simply not be possible. So is that enough? Whilst we work away towards a corporate performance agreement, should we take comfort in knowing that, indirectly (potentially for tax purposes), we are “doing our bit”?  Or could it be that anyone with these such feelings is actually a misfit performing on the wrong side of the equation, and rather than be the funder, we should be striving to gain funds and pack our backs on a mission North.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Part 2 to follow when I have a bit more in sights and opinions on being a desk-job hero!