Amateurs and Professionals: ADC, Part 20

Does one have to “do,” achieve, or accomplish anything in order to be called an “amateur”? Or is the title honorific or owned by default: one assigned by virtue of the absence of accomplishment?

Is an “amateur” always a derogatory title, one belittling the target?

And what is required in order to be assigned the title of “professional”?

Is the discrimination between the two terms one restricted to money? A really good golfer without earnings is an amateur but one who is paid to chase a dimpled ball across the lawn with a stick is a professional?

For purposes of the current series of Blog postings, and especially that part following the colon (accumulating, decorating, collecting), in whichever of the three ADC groups we belong, we are familiar with “Professional Organizers.”

Any idea who they might be? And what their credentials are? What qualifies one as a Professional Organizer?

One suspects Accumulators will run from the Pro Organizers. As much as one suspects the Decorators will embrace them. I’m not sure where the Collectors fall in the relationship.

Presumably, Professional Organizers help others make sense of their lives.

And are there Professional Consumers? If so, then instead of being paid, we do the paying. That would be just about all of us, wouldn’t it? And, if so, do we yearn for such a title?

I suspect for most of us, we never thought of ourselves that way – as Professional Consumers. Don’t need college, though it might be a new degree program. Probably at the graduate level (too good for the undergrads).

If the definition for being a “professional” includes the criterion of getting paid for doing what we do, then this opens up a slew of new vocations, doesn’t it?

At the college I work, the student newspaper carried a story on “cuddling.” (With apologies to Dave Barry, I am not making this up.) The story listed the activity’s benefits and concluded by asking, “Why hire a professional cuddler?”

The professional cuddler (again, I am not making this up) interviewed for the story offered a host of (sometimes, well, mostly psychobabble) reasons she suspects people hold and, thus, resist employing her.

Only on a college campus, right?

Speaking of which, pretty regularly, and now especially that it’s getting warmer out of doors, there’s a guy strolling campus with sandwich board signs announcing he offers “Free Hugs.”

As if someone would pay him for them.

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