Advertising is apprarently the least noble profession of them all, with teaching being the most noble. When I first heard this, i scoffed at it, as any loyal professional should. Very basic questions like What is nobility? Who decides this? arose in my head. Not so basic answers followed.
It is true that nobility has no real definition. An act of nobility in today's times would be giving alms to a beggar. Or participating in a Peace march. Or lighting a candle. Or...hang on while I think of the last noble act I did. About 2 months back, when I was on a bus, I befriended the guy who sang in this nasal, high-pitched voice and mostly bhajans with a dafli. He was very shy and looked noble to me. So I brought him to my workplace, he sang, and all the seniors gave him lots of cash.
Was that a noble act? I think it was sheer luck for him and a crazy thing to do for me. I did it cause I thought it'd be fun. So are noble acts ones that are done in complete ignorance? Does intent blemish the purity or extent of a noble act? No, that would be unfair. NGOs though mostly very fake, probably do many things that are good for society and hence, noble. And that's their job. They intend to do good, be noble. And yet when I see or think of the fat, rich, impudent bastards (aka Lala's or Seth's) doling out copious amounts of halwa puri to poor, unfed, ignorant idiots; it makes my blood boil. Isn't it silly to attack intent here and condone it in the case of the NGOs? Are both right? or wrong? or is nobility a warped concept altogether?
We get to claim money for food we eat or conveyance in our overtime service in the office. Till very recently I wouldn't claim money from office. Till very recently, I believed that the people who do claim money, are doing it to make money. I thought it cheap and degrading. Till I was told it was downright stupid of me not to claim money. And most certainly it was. What I thought of as a noble thing to do (not claim money), was demonstrated to me as silly, trivial. Now I do claim money, and I make money too. Here, my definitions have been modified to suit myself. I see my workplace as this big blood-sucking parasite that feeds off me, and it is only correct to fuck my workplace over. Noble, no. Correct, yes.
But if it is correct, it must be noble. I wrote some copy for the packaging of baby products. As has been passed down to us and of which we know nothing, babies are pure. Babies would never harm us, and so we must do everything to protect babies. As kids, we'd throw water balloons at everyone except women with babies. Why? When we had a justification for an act as barbaric and cruel as hurling water balloons at random folk, why then make exceptions? Anyway, babies are sacred.
So when I was told to simply tweak a few words here and there, and basically cut-copy-paste the material on some Chinese baby product, I thought this is why advertising isn't a noble profession. I even objected. I said when you're going to claim that this stupid baby rattle is made of bio-degradable and eco-friendly plastic (whatever that is), it should be. Coz these are baby products. People are going to purchase these feeding bottles, nipples, rattlers, teethers etc. on the presumption that what you write is the truth. That it is safe for their babies to use these. And if this is material off some Chinese baby products, what we're doing is the exact opposite of noble. And I won't do it.
You can find all the Baby products from Guardian at a Guardian pharmacy close-by.