Repost because someone asked me yesterday why there are certain jobs I wouldn’t take…
I signed up for a freelance writing assignment. And got assigned a gig on how to grow marijuana. Okay. Deep breath (not of hashish, silly, but of oxygen, sweet air). Now what?!
Okay, a few steps backward to bring you to my present. I like writing and would love to earn my keep with writing, which, as most writers will tell you, is not that easy. There are a few sites to match writers with assignments, a kind of writing bazaar. A bizarre bazaar, as you will shortly see.
Most times the jobs go to someone overseas who will bid on a project with these profundities: “Esteemed Sir, beg I to write many superfluous big words from university I learned, 500 articles of consist 500 words $10, SEO ready copy can I write you fast.” Since most native English speakers living in Western world realities will not and cannot string along that many articles for the price of a bagel and a coffee, writers’ bazaars are very hard to find competitive.
Yet, I finally got a gig. Someone appreciated the fact my pitch to them was written in comprehensible English and wanted such fare. Yay! A gig.
Then, the assignment came. I was to write many articles to be featured in different places, which articles had to be constructed in a way to float them to the top of the Google pool and be easily found and read. The topic assigned was how to grow pot.
My first response was to rub my eyes and stare at my computer screen. The assignment stayed in place – write articles on how to grow marijuana. Interesting question, is it legal?
Google quest begins. There is nothing illegal as far as I can see in writing an article on how to grow an illegal substance. In fact, there are many articles of that nature. There are even places where you can buy growers’ supplies. No jail time would loom imminent were I to take the job; but did I want to tell blockheads how to grow the vacant brain recreational choice of fare?
Ethical question – should I use my writing skills to promote something of which I don’t approve?
Then came the reckoning, where I realized I had a need for clarification of my moral parameters. I’m neither against the legalization of pot nor, in fact, am I opposed to the legalization of prostitution. I think much of what is considered immoral doesn’t make logical sense. A person is allowed to walk into a bar and get smashed but cannot smoke weed, which doesn’t make for a logical explanation. Any woman can randomly tumble into bed with a stranger she picked up at a bar, so long as she doesn’t take money for the encounter. Logical to you? To me, it isn’t. Either you believe random coupling is immoral…or you don’t. Why does money play into the equation?
Okay, so I admit I don’t see eye-to-eye with the law on the illegalities of pot. I do see the beauty of living life with meaning and, therefore, not, like, dude, vegetating your thinking apparatus, like, peace out and all that, but I want to live more intelligently.
Which led me to not take the job. If life is to be lived with meaning, all we do within it has to be focused and in line with our values. If not, we are copping out to our own sense of right and wrong. My life doesn’t include pot, nor do I want any of my loved ones smoking their brains silly. Therefore, to get paid to promote it would be negating my own sense of propriety. I choose not to be a donkey moving for the sake of a carrot dangling up ahead. I’m a human, with a sense of right and wrong, able to choose to live and work according to moral standards.
Happy pot growing, to those who choose to do so. I’d rather grow a sense of purpose.