I'm worried about us.
Us kids. My generation. We have entered, we will enter—at least I think—the working world. What do we bring to the table? What product do we offer? What unique skill do we possess? Have you worked a job? One you got on your own merit, one you strived to maintain and to excel in? What have you learned? What do you take with you?
I'm worried we have little to offer in an increasingly competitive job market. We're lazy, unimaginative, selfish. So many of us are unable to grasp the concept of working "for the greater good." The greed, the lust for power consumes us. And it's not just the working world. It's emotionally too. We are all so convinced "we've had it rough," when most of us cannot even fathom what that really means. We have been given everything. We eat from silver spoons in high chairs. We have lived a quarter of a century—times of great great profit and success, and times of slightly less success—and all we ever want is more. And to convince everyone around us that "we've had it rough," so therefore, we know better.
We don't know better.
If you knew better, you'd take better care of yourself.
Study, get through school, but don't stay there for too long. Not so long that you grow soft and out of touch with the real world.
Because as sure as air enters and exits the body, there is such a thing as the real world. You can put it off with this degree and that, but one day, the time will come. There are no extensions, no group projects, no summer vacations. Only the reality of showing up, punching in and giving everything just to hang on, to stay in the game.
I'm sadden when I hear coworkers of mine say, "If we're going to fill that position, we should go for someone older, middle-aged, they'd likely work harder, respect the job, the fact that they've got one."
I wish it wasn't this way. I wish we got our directions from maps and had dinner conversations over candlelight instead of the dull glow from a smart phone. I wish we called people back instead of texting them. I wish we wrote letters, and listened to CDs and never suggested that "we're old" simply because we want to get some sleep. We're always so tired.
I wish we listened when we were told that "life is short," that "the grass actually isn't greener," that "hard work pays off." Because life is short, and sometimes there is no grass at all—only bald patches of earth—and even though sometimes hard work doesn't pay off it's always better to work hard. To have the satisfaction of a hard day's work. You sleep better.
We nod in mock understanding, but we are not listening. We don't hear those words. And oh how I wish we would. We're drowning and don't even know it.
I'm worried about us.