In the New York Times last weekend, Nicholas Kristof – looking ahead to graduation season – wrote about a book written by Mary Keegan, an emerging writer who died tragically two years ago that prods the reader to think about their life direction:
Keegan recalled being paid $100 to attend a recruiting session at Yale by a hedge fund: “I got this uneasy feeling that the man in the beautiful suit was going to take my Hopes and Dreams back to some lab to figure out the best way to crush them.”
For my part (and Keegan probably would have agreed), I think that we need bankers and management consultants as well as writers and teachers, and there’s something to be said for being practical. Some financiers find fulfillment, and it’s also true that such a person may be able to finance far more good work than a person who becomes an aid worker. Life is complicated.
Yet Keegan was right to prod us all to reflect on what we seek from life, to ask these questions, to recognize the importance of passions as well as paychecks — even if there are no easy answers.