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« Voting | Main | Tolerance long gone? »

What Are You Going To Do With That?

By Adrian Klaphaak
March 15, 2012

This is a wonderfully articulated essay by William Deresiewicz about finding your own path, living a meaningful life, and everything that gets in the way. Enjoy it… you’ve probably been feeling the same way.

Comments (2)

Angelo Lopez Author Profile Page:

A great article, Adrian. It sounds like it would be a great commencement speech for a graduating class. My favorite paragraph from Deresiewicz's essay is this:

Moral imagination is hard, and it's hard in a completely different way than the hard things you're used to doing. And not only that, it's not enough. If you're going to invent your own life, if you're going to be truly autonomous, you also need courage: moral courage. The courage to act on your values in the face of what everyone's going to say and do to try to make you change your mind. Because they're not going to like it. Morally courageous individuals tend to make the people around them very uncomfortable. They don't fit in with everybody else's ideas about the way the world is supposed to work, and still worse, they make them feel insecure about the choices that they themselves have made—or failed to make.
Ken Poland Author Profile Page:

Having been accused of being 'long winded', I have to say that professor was long winded. But, what he had to say had a lot of area to cover.

I, especially, liked one sentence. "All you can decide is what you think now, and you need to be prepared to keep making revisions."

Anyone who thinks they have all the answers, at any time in their lifespan, is locked into an existence without opening. And, if they live long enough, they will die lonely.

I can't imagine working a job from Monday through Friday and not being able to wait for Friday night to be free. Nor can I imagine worrying over the weekend, because I know I'm relegated to Monday morning forcing me back to the grind.

I think what the author was trying to say was not to get locked into a career that gave you no opportunity to live outside of that career. As we experience life, we are exposed to new opportunities and we must be able to adapt ourselves to those opportunities.

Liberal arts education is essential to your being able to identify and communicate with events and people outside of your chosen technical field. That doesn't discount the value of specialized intensive education, but if you are going to be able to enjoy a rewarding social life, you have to have some training and education to allow you to be able to identify with society, in general.

A nerd is a nerd. And you find nerds in every pathway of life. In general, we call a person a nerd, if they cannot maintain a social existence outside of their specialized talent or choice of endeavor.

I am a Western Kansas farmer by choice and opportunity. I had other choices and enjoyed other career opportunities. I really enjoyed my brief stint (6 years) in aircraft tooling. I worked at various other endeavors, but, it was about 12 years after the end of my formal education (H.S) before I settled on my lifelong carrer in agricultural production. What I learned and my cxposure to people outside of agriculture have been tremendously helpful in my farming endeavor and especially in my social environment outside of agriculture. I was fortunate to have had parents and teachers that exposed me to literature, music, religion, philosophy, politics, etc. (liberal arts, if you will).

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