Lawyers generally charge more than behavioral health professionals because the market dictates that solid, short term advice is worth more than chronic empathy. Empathy is arguably the most valuable of human qualities. That is why it does not sell. When a quality is part of the human experience, it is perceived as an entitlement. Scarcity does not increase our willingness to pay for empathy like it does for other commodities. Instead, we repeat patterns and say life isn’t fair.
Post Graduate Degrees in the Social Sciences offer the guarantee of intrinsic value with ample opportunity for self-expression, enriched personal development and trauma-processing podiums. It can be very alluring to the test-savvy/above-average-IQ post-collegiate in search of unassailable higher purpose to dedicate two+ years to categorizing grammatically sensitive social norm outliers within a community of like-minded peers and professors who collectively attempt to repair the fragile ego of said candidate.
If you are longing to lend your voice to protecting the oppressed between bites of Greek yogurt, watch out. You may be fast-approaching some expensive shit in the last pair of shoes you’ll have the time and means to procure for awhile.
For all of the self-care lingo that the revered post-grad social science programs perpetuate, they often turn out justice-oriented graduates, whose time spent “being special” in participation-trophy-model-based candidacy programs has rendered any subsequent advice and empathy inaccessible and unaffordable.
If you take this route and you are not independently and inter-generationally sustainably wealthy or unusually charming or attractive, consider you may never have the time or resources to maintain physical, emotional and relational health you learn to value in grad school.
My Clinical-Social-Worker-indulged-inner-child is begging me to differentiate between the passionate/driven post-grad pioneer and my depiction above, to weave a narrative to gently separate the true future leaders in social justice as they march onward towards a better tomorrow. Here I remind my inner child that the purpose of what i am writing is clarity, not inspiration. And to convey my lived/perceived experience of how to avoid shit, not to soothe the exempt.
Takeaway Tip (& inner child compromise):
If your monthly self-care costs exceed a day’s pay at minumum wage, you can’t afford this pile of shit. Have some empathy for yourself and don’t make a career out of empathy if you are not crystal clear on why you want to limit your lifetime options.
- Self-care costs include but are not limited to: personal psychotherapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, healing arts, crystal therapy, craniosacral and massage sessions, co-pays for medical visits relating to physiological manifestations of nebulous dietary restrictions, gym/yoga memberships & attire, hair highlights, lowlights, dye, pedis, manis, Whole Foods/Trader Joes markups, specialty coffee, travel, pet care and projection, skincare products & books, hiking gear and vitamins/supplements.