Hamburger vs. steak

I wrote an article yesterday about people and the analogy I used (which someone used on me) is hamburger and steak. Some people are hamburger, some people are steak. Just like I don’t believe everyone can be a “good” leader (surgeon, lawyer, insert profession here) I don’t believe everyone can be steak. If everyone could be a leader, surgeon, lawyer, or steak we wouldn’t have the diversity we have. When I used the comparison of hamburger vs. steak I was talking about mentality, not wealth or status. Let me show you what I mean…

My brother worked for a hotel chain for decades. He was a bellman (the guy that handles your luggage). He got that job when he first moved to ATL (meaning he was young) and he had the job when he died. He dabbled in management and he was good at it, but he didn’t like it. When I asked him about his career choice (I told him I would help him start a business if he wanted) he explained to me he enjoyed interacting with people but most important he didn’t want the responsibility of management. He “can” be good at it but he doesn’t like it. He was happy being a bellman. It showed because he was the best at his hotel. The most remembered by customers. Received the most Employee of the Month awards. Tipped the most. He was happy even though he wasn’t making as much as he could make. As long as he was happy that was fine with me.

One of the trash men that collects trash on my street is the same way. He enjoys his job because he is helping the city by keeping it clean. He’s the best trash man. In the summer I make lemonade or punch for him and in the winter I make hot chocolate with whipped cream because I appreciate what he does. He always has a smile and a joke. Most of the time he is on time. He’s really good at what he does and enjoys what he does.

They are steak.

On their limited incomes and education (neither had/have a degree) they had/have good lives. Got married. Raised a family. Decent cars. Good kids. You know the drill. Because they were happy with their choices. What makes them steak is their mentality, their ambition to get the things they wanted, to do the hard work when necessary, etc. Even though they held the same positions for years their lives weren’t stuck in a rut.

Unfortunately, people will try to be steak via possessions. I’ve seen people say they wouldn’t date anyone that didn’t make X amount of money. Didn’t have a degree. Didn’t at least have X amount in the bank. Didn’t have X amount to spend on them. Have to sit in the VIP section. One of the stupidest is not dating someone because they don’t own a Mac.

I have a better idea. Instead of focusing on what a person has, focus on who they truly are. Just because someone isn’t rich doesn’t mean they aren’t steak. Of course that takes a lot of time, getting to know someone. Much easier to focus on what a person has, isn’t it?