#BigParentingIdea — The Overwhelming Uncertainties. The #1 Reason We (And Our Kids) Are Terrified Of Their Future.
Overwhelming uncertainties do just that, they overwhelm us. We are overwhelmed and we stop thinking.
We are constantly being presented with a rather gloomy vision of our future. The people who present us with this dreadful image of the future are our parents, teachers, professors and other well-meaning adults.
More and more people find it difficult to get jobs nowadays.
People can’t find jobs in their professions.
People are being laid off.
The time is very uncertain.
If it was not enough, there is a constant stream of younger, better qualified and cheaper job candidates.
The older generations yearn for the good old times. Times when things were different, getting a job wasn’t that of a problem, and, in general, life was easier.
It was never more important to be an A student and getting a college degree than it is today. At least that’s what we’re being told by those well-meaning adults.
Thus, we are being instructed Your school and college years are the most important period of your life. It’s the time to craft your resume to the liking of big corporations and other potential employers.
You forget whatever it is you wanted and you try as hard as possible to become the best job candidate out there.
Those well-meaning adults think the key to success lies in an arms race. Not the arms race in militaristic sense. Our arms race is all about best education, best resume, best credentials, best everything.
Being the best job candidate is what matters most in this arms race.
Meanwhile everything revolves around the conventional success. Money, status, power, cars, houses, other shiny objects, etc. The sooner you get those things, plus a family (with two kids and a dog) the better because it will mean that you are a successful person. That you’ve made it.
The sooner you are this “successful” young adult the sooner you become addicted to places like Facebook, where every day “successful” young adults, just like you, share their successes with their ‘Facebook friends’. You really believe you’ve made it.
Middle class life is how most people gauge success.
We assume that what we see is a success and those who share their photos on Facebook assume that we will assume what we end up assuming.
It’s a giant bubble of assumptions and quickly drawn conclusions.
And yet, almost all want just that.
Most people aren’t interested in long term vision. They want money, status, power and all those shiny objects TODAY.
Why? Because we need to show off in places like Facebook.
We want to be perceived as successful young people.
Who wants to be perceived as a failure? Nobody. It’s not a nice feeling.
And perceived as failure we will be if we don’t have anything to show up for in our late 20s, or 30s, or 40s.
We play the game in which we all assume because it’s easy and because 99% of our relatives and friends also play it.
We assume that having a steady job, position, power, nice new car, house, and designers clothes means success.
It’s a shortcut. We don’t have to ask. And if it’s a shortcut we like it.
Everyone wants to know what the shortcut is. Then we want even more shortcuts.
Thanks to shortcuts we might be able to live an easier life, leave our office at 5 pm, be at home on weekends, retire earlier, start “enjoying” life earlier.
Why wouldn’t we want one more shortcut? Especially if it’s probably the most important one. The one which tells us how to be a “success”, and be it fast.
Few people embrace the notion of success that is person specific. We have parents, spouses, kids, other relatives and other members of our clan. We want to be proud of them.
What’s the basis of being proud? Success.
Now, who would bother explaining to someone else the intricacies of a success that is person specific? To brag we need one definition of success and one that is easy to use, rather than billion different definitions.
Here’s where the conventional success comes in. It’s perfect for this job because almost nobody questions it.
We can go to our high school reunion and be almost certain that everybody will congratulate us on our law office, or our dental practice, or our career in banking.
We like it when somebody acknowledges the hard work we put into getting to this point in our lives, and who can appreciate it better than other advocates of conventional success? Nobody.
And all those well-meaning adults (and consequently the vast majority of young people, too) really believe that the cure for the current situation in the job market is to be better qualified than other candidates.
Not to be different from everyone else (because that’s too risky and even more uncertain), but to be this slightly better qualified college graduate in a sea of other college graduates.
Get better grades, sign up for more extracurricular activities and do it earlier than others, learn more languages, go to better college, take on rich people’s hobbies, use family connections to secure the future. Then it’s all about cashing in on the name of the college you went to, the degree you got there, and whom you know in your profession.
If, however, you are ready to reject the notion of a conventional success and you realize that your success doesn’t have to be what it is to everybody, that you can have your own notion of success, which probably won’t be understood by most people (but that’s fine), which might mean that you won’t have anything to brag about on Facebook TODAY, or in 10 years, or at all (but that’s fine, too) and that you can be a free person in a world where most people are just slaves to corporations, debt and middle class life, suddenly you also start to realize that this uncertainty was artificially contrived and projected onto you.
A scam perpetuated by those who had been brainwashed before they set out to brainwash us.
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