Last week I had a rendevous with my Chemistry past in the event of celebrating my former Ph.D. supervisor receiving a very prestigous award. I was fun to see friends and collegues from 15 years back, most of them now being Professors all over the World. Thus, my presence there was a kind of minority attack from the outcasts, or at least that is how I felt. Like an outcast.
Actually, I am delighted for this experience. Firstly, it was an honor to participate in the celebration and I could even follow the lectures, well, one of them was very tough to digest… Science is moving fast for sure !
Secondly, I could confirm that I had taken the right decision that Chemistry and Science was not for me… for several reasons. Already 15 years back I had troubles with projecting myself into the possible Future of a scientific career, lacking both the special temperament and dedication that I think is necessary. I wanted ‘more’ and ‘else’. Also, my personal background was incomtatible with this trajectory, and I guess I didnt have neither the patience nor the lab skills to prevail.
Still, I felt like an outcast and had to ‘defend’ ‘only’ to be in IT .. as if that is something that needs defending (wake up, guys !). When you think about it, there is a very important message in this: NEVER to treat your fellow humans with the arrogance of you being ‘better’ or to exclude their presence or existence. We should not be excluding but including ! I believe this is also the teachings of people like… Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi and… well… the less known danish photographer Jacob Holdt being world-famous in Denmark for his unconditional love to minorites and outcasts (like me). Remember this in your interactions with e.g. immigrants, coloured people, less intelligent persons, women and the like 😉
Well… I’m pushing some things in this to extremes… (a bit) fact is, that most people at this celebration were actually very friendly, and it was great to see them ! And what delighted me the most was to see, that THEY obviously had chosen the right path for THEM, still being enriched and joyful about our once common interest in Organic and Biological Chemistry.
So… we all make our own choices. The art is to respect this and to find common ground as humans. Which in my world is always the most interesting.