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George Lucas. (Photo: James Santanelli).

The O’Toole Chronicles: Everyone Has Talent

By Kevin O'Toole, February 21 2023 12:01 am

George Lucas has been producing megahit blockbuster movies since the 1960’s and has worked with tens of thousands of people. George is the undisputed king of profitable movies and he is nearly unrivaled with his charity work. Given his life experiences, you would think he knows a thing or two about people. George has an interesting quote on judging people and finding their value.

“Everybody has talent, it’s just a matter of moving around until you’ve discovered what it is…”

Our society seems to put a premium on certain professions and professionals. Whether it be actors, musicians, doctors, lawyers or politicians, those folks are usually put on a pedestal and given a cut in line in the respect and adoration department. This probably isn’t well deserved and doesn’t necessarily come from a great place. It seems that we gravitate toward these occupations that we love or desire, hate or despise or want to aspire to someday. These players and jobs are far and few and maybe it is the scarcity that makes them so prized. Or perhaps it is the idol worship of these often-misunderstood professions and individuals that drive us to the star gazing side and resentment at the very same time.

I’ve met movie stars (Jamie Foxx was the coolest), presidents, governors, senators, doctors and lawyers and they are all the same — human and they all wake up every day like everyone else.

What is the point?

I think our society needs some shift, think seismic like an earthquake, to realign our value system to put a larger value on certain overlooked professions that have a profound, yet sometimes unseen effect on us and the society we live in.

Let’s take a look at a few that come to mind:

Military: This should be an easy one as they are the brave ones who sacrifice it all and don’t get nearly the respect they deserve when they come back;

EMTs: Who has a rougher job and they literally save lives and make nearly nothing;

Nurses: I would include nurse aides and others associated with health care, they are life savers and sometimes more important than the doctors;

Home Health Aides: They care for the elderly and disabled and make below the poverty line—triple their salary and they’re still underpaid;

Waiters and waitresses: Thankless job that most of us couldn’t handle. Tip heavy and 20% should be the baseline with most of us shooting higher;

Special Education Teachers: This job is done for the love of it and is one of the most complicated ones — hats off;

Blue collar public employees: They sometimes get a bad rap, but most are incredibly decent and hard-working and they keep the roads plowed, facilities maintained, parks clean, and commerce moving.

I know this column isn’t the overly political one, but I thought we need to get some measure of perspective as we move into 2023. While it’s noteworthy to aspire to any career, we should start to respect and reward those who serve as the backbone of our civilized society. The ones who handle the less than glamorous functions. The cold reality is if we didn’t have these folks carrying the laboring oar, we would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle and then who would ferry and serve all the actors and politicians?

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