If you ever wanted to see me as a dancing elf, here’s your chance:
More interesting articles in the San Francisco Chronicle today. The latest census data showed that in 1977, 79% of college freshmen said that “discovering a meaningful philosophy of life” was their main goal. In 2005, it was “being very well off financially” (75%).
One comment caught my attention: that the baby boomers (whose goal was finding a meaningful philosophy of life) ended up being “the biggest sellouts and hypocrites of any generation. They built the McMansions and bought the SUVs.”
I don’t know whether the author was trying to say that accumulating wealth and owning nice things means a person obviously has forsaken any meaningful philosophy of life, or whether the author knows more than I do about the baby boomer generation’s motives & habits post-college. He/she may be trying to say that their extravagant pursuit of wealth is a symptom of Affluenza.
I wonder, did the boomers become disillusioned in college? Was it after college, in the workforce? Did government or society have an influence? At what point did they give up on pursuing a meaningful philosophy of life?
This is all interesting to me, seeing as how I, myself, am actively pursuing my meaningful philosphy of life. After college, I went to work in an industry that I felt had the most potential for financial gain (and I was very successful – the salary figures for my graduation year showed my degree at the very top on a earnings-potential scale). I enjoyed a high standard of living within a great company. For once in my life, I didn’t have to worry about money–if I wanted something, I could usually have it and not have to think twice. I was able to provide my family with support, and give money to charity on a regular basis. But still, something was missing.
I think it came down to the issue of having TIME for other things I consider important: being with loved ones, exercising, and learning new things. I was having trouble doing all these things AND working/commuting from 6am to 6pm, even with every other Friday off. I still am pretty adamant about my theory that people shouldn’t be made to work for more than 6 hours a day. Working 8, 9, or 12 hours per day implies that you are so passionate about your work that other things can sit on the back burner, which just wasn’t true for me, at that time, in that company.
Although I am young (26), I still feel like I need to spend the energetic hours of my youth exploring as much as possible so I can FIND my passion, and not waste too much time in activites that don’t further that journey. I want to know know where I can contribute the most in this lifetime, and after 3.5 years in the oil industry, I know that is not the end-all, be-all for me.
So it was time to move on, and the tricky thing is that I don’t know exactly what to try next. Opening and operating my own business will give me valuable experience in business & marketing, so I’m pursuing that. I know I can help people feel better & live better, and that in and of itself makes a positive impact on the world. I’m interested in and want to study government & leadership. I want to study psychology. I’m interested in teaching & coaching (tried a little coaching in Bakersfield). I’m interested in raising children and being married. I want to continue writing down my thoughts & ideas and searching for true things everyday. But, of course, I do want to have money too, because money enables one to help others and to do the things one loves.
And that’s all I know today. I know I could never be satisfied with simply “being very well off financially” UNLESS it meant that I could have growth in the other areas of my life, simultaneously.