Misguided guidance counselors and optimistic parents alike have a favorite mantra for young people in need of career advice. It is something to the tune of, “Just do what you love, the rest will all fall into place.”
This historically idiotic suggestion can likely be blamed for most of what’s wrong with today’s world. What you love is not always what you are best, or even good, at. And what you love is not always what is best, or even good, for the world around you…
Which trickles somewhat gracefully into another unwise sentiment, funneled into the ears of impressionable youth: “Everyone can change the world.”
Yeah? The whole world? Nothing quite like setting you up for disappointment. Because, realistically, you can’t change the world. You can assist in perpetuating it, and you might even be able to improve a pinprick corner too small for anyone to care about, but very few people change the whole thing. Even fewer manage to positively impact it at all.
Now, we all know young people are inherently stupid. This is no fault of our own. We’re force-fed buckets of bullshit from every angle until the age of maybe seventeen. Then, we’re expected to grab the ass of our pants and start soaring along into self-reliance. We end up pushing shopping carts, or piles of paper, or public patience, until we fumble into some sort of unfulfilling day job, where we can frown away the decades until we’ve aged past the mandatory six-and-a-half score years on this earth, when we can snuggle into a coffin and retire.
Yikes. Reality is real.
At this point, you’ve probably pinpointed me as another pessimistic, pissed-off twenty-something sitting in a cafe blogging about how bad growing up inevitably is for everyone. That’s accurate. I am pissed. I’m pessimistic, too. And I’m also in a cafe right now.
But I set myself apart from the rest of the losers by adding a third P to my alliteration personality checklist. I’m proactive.
Growing up is like sex. If you don’t put your heart into it, it’s going to suck. Or just fly by. Or leave you hurting and alone with some dirty sheets and a wrinkled conscience. In a previous post I illuminated my thoughts on changing the world. Starts with me, my world.
How am I going to change it? Change me? Find bliss or at least learn to exist?
Well, buddy, you’re reading it. Blam.