Thursday, July 20, 2006

Many a high school or college student believes that there is one work, one position, one job, that they can do, one area in which they must major. She or he must be an accountant, a doctor or a biochemist. Looking back at their lives at forty-five, say, they will realize that this wasn't true but they can't be persuaded of that at eighteen. They have more gifts than they realize; each of us has a variety of talents and capabilities which could be realized. The only problem is that we have only one life in which to realize them. (Unless, of course, part of the endless fascination of heaven will be developing all the potential we have for which seventy, eighty years was not enough.) Ideally most of us could use several lifetimes to fulfill our various capacities. Looking back they will see how many careers they could have pursued. The doctor could also have been an English professor. The musician could also have been happy as the manager of a hotel. The social scientists tell us that in actuality many people change careers several times in the course of a lifetime. All our gifts and capacities might suggest to us that even if we do stay with one career for most of our life we could indulge the other interests in our leisure time. Why can't the beautician take up the banjo on the side? Or the coach do something with that ability to draw? Knowing ourselves and our interests should suggest a great number of ways in which we can stave off that boredom so many claim to experience.
-- Don Talafous OSB

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