Why do you do your job?
A blogging friend recently posted about how he would never be a journalist in Bangladesh. I don’t blame him – it’s a very dangerous profession at the moment. A married journalist couple were stabbed to death in their own home in front of their young son recently and others have been beaten up on the streets and in their offices – often by the police.
Can you imagine what it must be like to be a journalist in Dhaka? I would be scared to step into the street not knowing who would get you – the rioting mob or the police supposedly there to protect you! Those that do, I believe, are courageous for rooting out corruption and I liken them to war heroes.
This got me thinking.
Be a doctor instead? At LAMB we see medical cases not normally experienced in the West – and often not often in Bangladesh either! Sometimes, interviewee Bangladeshi doctors come, see the kind of work that goes on and immediately leave. LAMB has an international reputation and is well respected in and out of Bangladesh – but it works hard for that good name. What we see here is not easy for anyone to deal with.
Currently, we face a crisis – not enough doctors in the coming months. It will be tough on those that are here and difficult to recruit good replacements who will stay when easy Government positions beckon all the time. Those that do stay make damned fine doctors in the end but it comes at the cost of unusual commitment.
LAMB will survive – it always does – but it makes me wonder why some people become doctors at all. It would appear that a drive to save lives is not always the primary concern for everyone.
Be a teacher? At LAMB school we constantly face the challenge of teachers leaving soon after arriving. The school is excellent (it’s why I came) and teaches students equality, respect and real thinking skills. But that means teachers actually have to teach (and not by the ‘copy out and recite endlessly’ method favoured by the national education system) and are not permitted to teach privately for money. We encourage teachers to teach well in the classrooms so private tutoring is unecessary.
This is too much for many teachers and they leave when they realise they can’t earn a hefty income on the side from their students. But, again, the ones that stay make excellent teachers who care about education and standards.
Personally, anyone who does their job for the purpose of improving the lives of others is alright in my book. I’m proud I know so many who do – in Bangladesh and all over the world.
Why do you do your work? Did you just drift into it or does it drive your life? These are not just philosophical whimsies to ponder over a cup of tea – in Bangladesh, they can mean the difference between life and death. For somebody, at least.