One of my undergraduates wrote a reflection about being pressured by his parents to make a decision about his future. He's a senior and after a $200,000 education, his parents want him to make a decision for his life. His older sisters are professionally successful and they want him to follow in their steps. Yet, he just wants to hike, be outside, and to read.
I am thinking about this on Monday morning because, in my Sunday ritual (thanks Lois), I now watch The Amazing Race before I go to bed. Actually, I listen to it and last night I resented it. Nice marketing CBS. All across the U.S. employees watch their CBS programing to be taken away by travel and adventure, making one last grasp for spicing up their lives before returning to the inane workweek once again.
The young man wrote he wanted a purpose to his life and I had to admit to him that I'm many degrees down and still don't have the answer. You've got to make money. You've got to support your livelihood. We have many opportunities in the U.S. to achieve, but in the end, does any of the labor matter? Is it all for nought?
When I was in his position, I thought about what work would make the biggest difference in the world. I narrowed it down to farming (to feed), medicine (to cure), and teaching (to support the next generation). I obviously chose teaching, but every Sunday night I think I should have chosen globetrotting or adventurer....something that was detached from routines, making money, habits, and "building a life." I would love to be completely emancipated from obligations and mandates.
Ah, such is the Sunday evening angsts. But it's Monday. Time to work again (as if I had much of a break over the weekend).