Why are the lenses with which we view the world so small? Tonight I listened to my uncle talk about the business he’s started in the last five years, since he retired. Buying and selling rare coins. He said he did it ’cause he was bored, not because he needed the money (he was already rich) and not because he was a collector (he didn’t know a thing about coins, he just happened to have some). He said it’s like a never-ending treasure hunt. I cannot tell you how interesting it was. I sat there for an hour and a half, transfixed, along with relatives 8 through 78 years old. He said he’s had people walk into his shop with coins worth $40,000 before, completely unaware of it themselves. I don’t hear many people my age saying they want to do something like that with their lives. Even though most college students will tell you the reason they are going to college is so that they can get a job, to make money. Here’s my theory: we’ve developed such an intellectual snobbery that professions that don’t require a high level of education (his included a three-week seminar and being cheated badly once or twice) are not seen as something to aspire to. But I’m so bored of the same old in-the-box thinking I find talking to people my age or at my general stage of life. I don’t think the problem is that they have no idea what they want to do with their lives. The problem is that they have too many ideas what they want to do with their lives. So they major in something generic like Lit, so as not to limit their options, and become generic people. Why? But we’re encouraged in that.  I didn’t really receive a lot of (read: any) applause when I graduated Insight and decided to go to a college that only offered one major. But I liked the people I met there. They knew who they were. I didn’t even realize that until I left and found myself face-to-face with the ambiguous puddle of indecision everyone else was taking their holidays at…expensive holidays of indeterminable length. As if this emotionally traumatizing journey between being the amorphous
specimens of the human race called “teenagers” and actually becoming
real people is a journey that needs to be prolonged. Okay, this has become a diatribe I did not intend for it to be. I suppose all those masters of ingenuity need suckers like me who think, “Hey, I can buy a piece of the Berlin Wall for only $15? That’s awesome!” When my uncle just told me that it only cost him $1.


5 thoughts on “

  1. Then again, she’s reading Peter and the Starcatchers. Which is definitely a good book, which I’ve recently read also. ~Hey, in case you were wondering, I think you forgot to respond to my e-mail again.~

  2. That’s true, it’s not that I don’t have a clue on what to do with my life, the real problem is that I have way too many ideas and potential. They’re so many options and different roads to take that chosing one seems like I’m tieing myself down.
    (Some people do just get any old piece of wall and say it’s Berlin’s)

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