In case you don’t already know it — we live in a consumerist society in the USA — and that’s a terrible notion for everyone in this nation, because we’ve become this messy ganglia of customers looking for the best price and never the better value.

This change was accommodated by a — Business First — mentality that has infected and downgraded a people into the lowest-common integer by using language and descriptive labels that imprison rather than reform.

We have lost the language of the profession.  Professions are not supposed to be businesses!

For example, doctors used to have patients.  Now patients are routinely referred to as “consumers” — as if they are shopping in a store for the best price on vitamins instead of asking to be helped by studied professionals.

Lawyers used to have clients.  Now, the legal profession, too, must deal with the “consumer” of the “law product” instead of having the more formalized relationship of the profession where lawyers are supposed to actually act on behalf of — and know more than! — their pitiful and lost client/customer.

The university isn’t sovereign in this language degradation.  Once we had the student and teacher dyad — which is quickly becoming redefined as the “consumer” and teacher relationship — where the student now believes they are on greater par with the teacher and that the teacher must bargain with the student for an acceptable grade that is based more on ego and less on performance.

Professionals spend extra time and training to earn a higher level of expertise in society and to try to diminish that greater effort against the common core is to redefine all of us down to a level where every profession becomes grocery store commerce with customers always looking for the better deal, the perceived value and the lowest possible bargain price.

When professionals allow their relational language to be lost to a lower mentality and their patients, clients and students all become consumers — then we have cheapened the expectation of those professions to be nothing more important than ordering a hamburger and fries at a fast food stand.

For the USA to begin to regain its dominance on the world stage, we need to re-value our professions and realize that trained professionals have a worthy mandate that requires proper labels and a language that separates relationships — because sometimes that tiered spectrum is what allows the promise of us to rise to the occasion.  Only then can we begin to reassign and reevaluate a necessary professional intellectualism that we too often discount in the game of consumerism equality by equating “mediocre” with “just right.”


    1. It’s definitely a coarsening of expectation, Gordon. To make all our relationships about money and power is to discount the realness of earned expertise in our society.

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