Monday, May 15, 2006

Letting Go of a Dream

My younger brother recently began a program to earn a certificate as a paralegal. His first love is doing public and/or community radio, both announcing and the development angle. Unfortunately, unless you land a job in one of the major markets, radio barely pays enough to make ends meet. He should know; he's tried to make it work for years!

While I'm certainly pleased that Sean is working toward a career that will allow him to get a better economic footing in today's world, I also lament that he has had to choose to let go of his passion. He is a damn good DJ. He also has a marvelous talent that allows him to be a good volunteer coordinator and to develop fundraising programs that are both successful and creative.

None of these talents will be needed in paralegal work. In that sense, it's a crying shame!

We live in the kind of world that too often squelches people's true talents -- turns them into wage slaves. If a person isn't driven to smash and step on others on their way to the top, the only option available is to become the fodder for others who have no problem whatsoever with smashing and stepping. There seems to be no place for those of us not driven to grab for the almighty gods of capital and power.

While I believe my brother will develop in to a quality paralegal, I bemoan the fact that the world around us would be better served if he could follow his passion AND survive while doing it.


  1. oh man. that hurts. there are so many, many things that I hate about this culture. That's gotta be in the top five - the fact that people cannot survive in this culture living the kind of life they would choose. we pay so much lip-service to freedom, but we are more free to choose from among 47 kinds of toothpaste and 12 brands of milk than we are able to explore the most basic and fundamental aspects of our lives.

    I liken it to being put in a mansion, wherein every suite is a variation on the same theme, but with slightly different color schemes. The housemaster says "choose whichever room you like" with a magnanimous smile, but when I say "I'd really like to go outside," he stares at me blankly, uncomprehending.

    Good luck to your brother. Hopefully he will find his way to his ocean.

  2. Oh how appropos this post is to me these days, wasting away in a less-than-satisfying job, torn between being grateful that I have a stable gig on a beautiful campus with benefits and a living wage on one hand, and my dream of being a writer/editor in a town with few opportunities saturated with highly educated/qualified people on the other. (No, the irony does not escape me that, for a wannabe writer, that was poorly written ;-)

    I have some great ideas for a multi-media publication that I'd like to start, but working a 40+hour/week job leaves nowhere near enough time to get something like that off the ground. It's kind of a trap.


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