Do you ever think about how you got to the place where you are now? Location, career, relationships, satisfaction, fulfillment… How did you get here?
When we’re young, we have dreams and aspirations– usually grand– of a future full of fame and fortune. That’s the American Dream, right? We set out to mark a path from Point A to Point B, seldom consciously realistic about the many obstacles that are sure to present roadblocks along the way.
One thing I try to tell the students at school, particularly the ones that want to go into the performing arts, is that it’s about the journey. It doesn’t matter where you end up, as long as you do your best, follow your heart and enjoy the path along the way.
I believe wherever we are, whatever we experience and wherever we end up– is exactly where we are supposed to be.
I’ve spoken with several former students that expressed regret that their paths changed course– as if they let me down, or were a disappointment. My only question to them is: “Are you happy?” That’s all that really matters, isn’t it? For most, they’ve only started their journey. At the age of 49, I feel my journey is far from complete. It’s so much more than just location or career or family and friends. It’s about the whole of who we were, who we are and who we will be.
I never had a clear path or grand plan for my life, so perhaps in some ways the road has been easier to travel. I think people with too many specific notions or desires for a successful life are the ones that have the most difficult time finding fulfillment. I believe you have to be willing to take a different path, endure the many bumps in the road and not be afraid of the detours.
I also believe education is a tool, not a solution. We should all be lifelong learners. I know more people that are happily successful in areas that did not require a specific path of higher learning, or ended up finding themselves successfully content outside their field of study. To get there, they still had to learn and acquire the necessary skills and experience to allow for their success.
The growing number of unmotivated college graduates frightens me. I’ve seen so many students float through school, move back home and do nothing, if their parents let them. In many ways, I think the generations since the baby boomers have done their children a disservice by giving them everything. In doing so, they’ve created ungrateful, unmotivated young adults with no comprehension of what it takes to achieve success. Life has been too easy for them. Parents who should be empty nesters, moving on to a new phase in their lives, find themselves continuing to support their children far in to adulthood.
Children need to take a trip. They need to be taught how to work, use their imagination and discover a world of their own. When children are given everything they want, how do they ever learn what they really need? More important, how will they learn to survive?
I see a generation of unemployed college graduates, whose parents gave up so much to give them everything. Somehow, the children were lost along the way.
It’s a lost generation, stuck at an intersection, with no value or understanding of the journey. So they sit… looking left, looking right, looking back… without the ability to make any decisions and follow the path ahead.
We have to help them find their way.
Yesterday’s Pic of the Day: I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and started taking down my Christmas lights, only to discover the pesky squirrels had already started. So much for LED lights that were supposed to last 10 to 15 years!
Today’s Pic of the Day: Full Moon 5:30 AM. Both pictures were taken with my new Canon S95. (Thanks Dad!)
I agree with you to a point, but I also know that the economy has been psychologically destructive to many recent college graduates, who remain underemployed due to no fault of their own. It’s psychologically damaging to discover that your expensive college education means little in the current job market. While I agree that parents shouldn’t enable a life of doing ‘nothing,” i also feel that loving parents can be supportive of their adult children’s path towards success without making them weak or lazy. I don’t think that many college graduates wish to live with their parents; they do so because the job market sucks. My youngest moved out several months ago and is renting a house with two buddies. After several post college years under our roof, he is really thriving in his new environment. He didn’t WANT to live with us; he just didn’t have enough money to move out. Still saddled with student loans, working at a job totally unrelated to his undergraduate degree, he lives frugally and is trying to figure out how to improve his future. When we invite him over to dine with us on a regular basis to help him save a bit of money, we are just being loving parents. And I know, he WILL find his pathway to success at least in part because we have always had faith in his ability to do so.
I complete agree with and understand what you are saying. My intent wasn’t to insinuate ALL kids are just lazy and without a plan. Take students that went to school to become teachers: NO JOBS! Many are struggling to find any related kind of work to bring in an income. I think it is wonderful that parents try so hard, and are willing to sacrifice for their children but children don’t learn to appreciate anything when they have absolutely everything given to them.
Many Bartlett parents for years took great pride in showing off all they had and owning the best… giving everything (and only the best) to their kids. When the market crashed and many lost jobs… They had to learn a whole new way of survival. Many of those visible parents ‘disappeared’ out of embarrassment. Too much pride, I guess.