Our oldest son is a couple years from going to college. So every other day there’s a marketing brochure from one college or another aiming to appeal to a bright young candidate such as our boy. Consequently, the question of majors and careers comes up a lot with he and his peers and it’s enjoyable to witness their perceptive and thoughtful responses.
I remember this very well. I was 17-18 and being asked the same question: “What do you plan to do with your life?” I would respond one of two ways depending on whom or what was asking.
There were those who really just wanted to hear the standard response: I’m gonna be an engineer! Or I’m thinking of going into medicine or economics or law… But what I would say (and I thought about this quite a bit) was – “I want to become an anesthesiologist!”
I thought it was a cool word to say out loud.
“Really!?” they would ask.
“Yeah,” I would say, “People are really nice when they’re asleep!”
It was all tongue in cheek, but most adults would just kind of leave it there and move on to another subject….or room…
But to the ones who genuinely seemed to take an interest in life, in my life, I would say, “I really want to pursue a career in being human!”
Some would inevitably ask, “What do you think is the purpose of human life?”
My answer was always – “To find it! To find the purpose of human life and then go for it!”
Some…genuinely heard this.
Why not though? Why is it not a first principle thing in our journeys to become ‘career human beings’?
Yes, we need to each find a vocation that is fulfilling and meets our needs, but not at the expense of our greater service and endeavor which CAN BE to find out and pursue (without expectations or assumptions) WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN?
Now that would be my kind of college! How about you?