Marcel Duchamp was a fixture in the world of fine art during the period before 1940.  
(He was the guy responsible for the urinal with a sharpie signature featured last week.)     

However, when one approached him with the familiar “What do you do?” question his answer, like his art, was an unorthodox one.

“I am a respirateur.”     

A breather.     

Duchamp figured that he spent more time breathing than anything else, and had gotten pretty darn good at it too.     

The world we live in thrives off labels, and what better way to figure out who a person is than by asking what they do.     

It’s a thinly veiled attempt to clarify social status. Stereotypically speaking, a doctor is affluent and well educated; a mechanic, not so much.     

In the business world, this question is answered with the exchange of a 3 ½” x 2” piece of     
card stock that contains information summarizing a person’s existence.     

Even the government is in on it. Forms for everything from the IRS to the DMV have a blank for  “Occupation.” In other words, tell us what you make money doing, so we can determine who you are, and better understand how to deal with you.     

For the majority of our young lives what we did was defined by the sports or instruments we played. In a broader sense we have been classified as “students.”     

Now though, as we grow closer to the real world and begin to get jobs of our own, perhaps it is a good time to reevaluate the question in the exact same way Marcel Duchamp did.     

What is it that you do?     

I know a gentleman who approached the question in a similar, if not as flippant manner as the    famed artist. His reply was simple. “I teach my children.”     

This method of thinking has inspired me to reconsider my role in the world. I am not only a student, or even a writer.     
I am a daughter, a napper, a     
I am a missionary, a playmate,     
a friend.     
I am an instigator.     
I love my family.     
I dream.     
I am a citizen.     
I am a critic of food, art, music,     
movies, and books.     
I laugh. I cry.     
I teach. I learn.     

If I had a business card summarizing what I do, it would be say only this: SARAH. What I do is be the best Sarah I can be, in all my varied forms. 
Every decision I make is part of a constant effort to grow and improve the person I am. Whether it’s how I approach school, family, or church, the object is the same.     

Be better.     
Be more.     

In the end, the ways in which people make money won’t amount to anything more than stuff, and like the old adage promises, you can’t take it with you.     

Everything in life comes down to how you spend time doing the things you love with the people who mean the most.     

Happiness cannot be gauged by the number of zeros in a pay check.     

Because making a living and having a life are not the same thing.     

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