I’ve never read as much as I have as when I was a kid.
I don’t for sure know why.
I guess a young mind is unfettered, uncluttered, innocent, lacking in the experiences, pain, joys, boredom and negative influences that adulthood can sometimes bring.
When I was a boy, reading-wise, I couldn’t get enough of sports and history. Like many young kids, I wanted to be a major league baseball player, until I couldn’t; then I was left wondering what else I’d like to be when I grow up and realized there wasn’t anything else.
Oh sure, I played guitar and was in bands.
I remember when MTV played actual music videos in the 80s, too.
I think it’s good if you take up at least one musical instrument when you’re young.
There is nothing like the discipline that comes from practicing the guitar, piano, trumpet, bass, flute, violin, whatever.
It’s good to be exposed to a lot of different stuff when you’re young.
For me, I found out a lot of things I didn’t want to be, didn’t want to do, didn’t want to play and didn’t want to be in or join, partake in, sell candy bars on behalf of, take up collections for…again, whatever, and you get the picture—you say everyone else is doing it? Not me.
I guess when you find something, or come across something, that comes easy to you, or easier to you than most, you tend to gravitate towards it.
All I knew that I liked once I realized I wouldn’t play ball for a living when growing up, was hardly much at all.
That hasn’t happened and probably won’t.
I thought that was nice of her to write that in my high school year book, though.
After researching it, and coming to find what the various states of the journalism world were over the years, I felt the New York Times was doing just fine without me, and me, without them.
I used to say young people should have at least one of the following three occupations under their belts in order to generate some humility, and just plain appreciation for the life you’re allowed to lead:
1. Wait tables
2. Clean toilets/perform janitorial services
3. Be in the military
As someone who’s done all three, I understand what it’s like to endure what some might consider unfair or over-the-top treatment in a less than dignified fashion.
It really does build character and help keep from forming a sense of entitlement when it comes to going through what the world will try to beat you down with later.
Getting a college degree will give you lots of theory but no real-world experience.
I grant you that a degree is absolutely necessary, if not expected, if you’re a young person in this day and age—especially if you plan on meeting someone, starting a family and providing for them.
My problem with the college route is the student loan debt load versus return on investment.
This economy will continue to be rough for at least a decade, maybe more.
We’re in uncharted territory when it comes to progression of life.
It used to be you could be assured of higher earnings with a degree.
That is no longer the case, as (shudder) even burgeoning lawyer numbers are in decline!
So what should you do?
How about trying a trade?
You could be a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, a heavy equipment operator.
Or you can go to school and get that degree.
What’s not cool these days is that you have to be focused and have a plan for what your degree should be…
Be an engineer!
That’ll pay off your student loan the quickest and return the biggest bang for your buck earnings-wise, you say!
But do you really want to be an engineer?
I remember when being 18 meant a time for experimentation.
You were trying to figure some stuff out.
You didn’t necessarily need to find out what the heck the meaning of life was, let alone what you would do and how you would do it, in terms of making a living and providing for yourself and your loved ones.
These days, though, the pressure to have it all figured out in terms of what you want to be when you grow up, what you should study and become, at such an early age, has arguably, never been greater.
You’ll probably keep reading as you go through life.
It may be required if you’re in school.
You may just like to do so.
I would hope your reading paths are driven from leisure and whim, rather than academic requirements.
That way you could start a book, put it down and pick it back up seven years later; hopefully, when your mind isn’t so full of distractions, when you’re feeling like a kid again.
Maybe you’ll even forsake that movie playing in the airplane on the back of the seat in front of you, beckoning you for a swipe of your credit card, in favor of a book you’ve been meaning to enjoy.
And you can keep it to yourself, too. People who have to tell you about how many books they read aren’t really people whose selections you’ll appreciate, anyway.
Book choices, like friends, like occupations, like paths in life, are best found on your own.