It’s asked, almost reflexively, by airplane passengers.
The brave ones ask in the first few moments of the flight, while many more ask politely upon landing, as if to limit the conversation to the 5-minute gate taxi.
It’s asked to spark conversation, to be friendly, and to competitively assess the socioeconomic value of the other person.
Does being a lawyer, doctor, or engineer make one a better person? If not, why do we ask about their job?
What if we are more than our job title, alma mater, favorite sports team, certification, place we live (or place we are going to), and net bank account value?
What if we’re not?
What if you were asked “What are you excited about in life”?
How would you answer?
Or forget that. Just go back to the job title. It feels more comfortable.
“Be sure that whatever you are is you.” – Theodore Roethke