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I’m friends with a five-year-old named May, and she is so amazing. I have known her since she was a few weeks old and love spending time with her. And she loves spending time with me. But, sometimes, I have to tell her I can’t spend time with her. Sure, sometimes I’m tired or something else social comes up. But, often, it’s my work. And, like all things I tell and model for her, I think about what lesson I am teaching. It kills me that, at the age of five, May is learning about America’s prioritization of work above all else. About how it dictates our life. About how we let it give us value. I think our vocation should give us value, it should give us identity, but I also think, in the United States, we let our careers hold sway over too much of who we are. When you meet someone at a party, one of the first things you ask them or they ask you is, “What do you do?” This is a euphemism for: “What is your career?” It not only assumes that you have work, but that the work defines you. I don’t want to teach May that, but, when I find myself explaining why I can’t spend time with her, more and more the answer is work. That is what she is learning. She knows I love her—at least I hope she does—therefore, she is left to conclude that career is as important if not more so than love or relationships or community. And that breaks my heart—not only for her, but also for me. Because I don’t want that reality to be true… but I fear that it is.