Recently, a young man considering the path he will take into adulthood questioned me concerning my occupational choices. Given the opportunity, would I repeat them?
I replied that I have been most fortunate to work among good people and have engaged in many endeavors that I would have been happy to do without pay. This was like no answer at all.
That was presumably a yes or no inquiry has no communicable response. The world I came from is quite alien to the existence he experiences. In my day, most gave no thought to career choices at such an early age. We just went to school or got a job or both. A job, any job, allowed one to support themselves, a wife, and to start a family. As cream rises to the top, those that found where they excelled prospered. Unfortunately, in order to cut corners, many of my generation put their wives out to work in order to get more stuff. According to the laws of supply and demand, all these people did was raise the cost of everything. Their greed bought them nothing and created the world this young man now inherits.
Today, all young men and women should go to college and get a good job in the health care industry. Instead of steel, the driving force of today’s economy is illness. It is now ones duty to contract some fatal but highly treatable disease to boost the GNP.
Suppose you don’t want to be a nurse. There are plenty of fun alternatives. Just think of what you would like to get up and do every weekday for the next forty years. Picture getting up early, going to McDonalds for a Happy Breakfast, dropping the kids off at daycare and continuing on to your fun filled career. Opportunities abound! Choose carefully because you will be old before it’s over.
I once counseled a son of mine, never think in terms of jobs, but be the best at anything and the world will be your oyster.
I think that my experience has little relevance to that curious teenager. To all in his position, I must once again advise: Always follow the path with a heart.