The Spirits' Book
Book Four - Hope and Consolation
Chapter I - Earthly Joys and Sorrows
Relative Happiness and Unhappiness
928. By our natural aptitudes, God shows each of us our special vocation in this world. Are many of the problems of life attributable to a failure to follow that vocation?
“That is true. Parents, through pride or greed, often force their children to deviate from the path set for them by nature, but they will be held responsible for the results of this misdirection.”
a) Do you approve of the son of a well-regarded individual becoming a shoemaker for instance, if he was endowed with a natural talent for it?
“You must not waste time on absurd suggestions and exaggerations. Civilization has its necessities. Why would the son of a man holding a high position become a shoemaker, if he were able to do something more important? Such an individual must always make himself useful, according to his faculties, without contradicting common sense. For instance, if he does not have the aptitude to be a good lawyer, he might be a good engineer, mechanic, or any other profession.”
Assuming a position outside one’s intellectual scope is one of the most frequent causes of failure and disappointment. Lack of aptitude for the career one has set out to follow is a never-ending source of disappointment. Often pride prevents people, who fail in one career, to seek a humbler vocation. They are frequently tempted to commit suicide in order to escape what they view as humiliation. If a sound moral education elevates them above the stupid prejudices of pride, they are never at a loss to earn a living.