Let’s be Practical
The word practical is used in a variety of popular sayings: that was a practical move; that was a practical decision; your degree is very practical; practically speaking, you should be more practical. But, what exactly does practical mean? More clearly stated, what does a person mean when using the term practical?
Definitions of words are obviously not concrete; they can change given the time period, setting, or person using the term; however as of late, or maybe as I come into adulthood, the definition of the word practical seems to be becoming increasingly tied to monetary value—will your choices make you money? If so, they are practical choices. If not, they are impractical.
From my experience, the education system and most parents aid this disservice done in the name of practicality, by bombarding children with inconsiderate career suggestions: “Be a doctor; be a lawyer; go get a business degree.” These suggestions may be practical at times—when considering the child’s strengths or interests. For example, if the child is a commendable debater and has an interest in the judicial system, he or she should consider being a lawyer. If a child has a keen interest in anatomy and a steady hand, then he or she should consider being a surgeon. However, if parents are prodding their children towards a career because it is lucrative financially, and not because the child has a desire to be a doctor or lawyer, then that is morally reprehensible and slightly scary. I mean I would rather go to a doctor that had a genuine interest in my health and his profession, rather then a doctor that just likes the paycheck. Not only that, but what kind of life is going to be lead by an individual who is stuck in a career with no passion for. It’s like putting a robin in a seagull`s nest. The robin may survive; however, it will not live a fulfilling life.
With such a contorted definition of practical, people have become overly concerned about the vehicles they drive, the TVs they own, and the size of the bath tubs in their homes. This pecuniary financial concern negatively impacts one`s sense of self. The self is now tied to the amount of money one brings in; it has shifted away from one`s personal talents. The current societal definition of the word practical is soul-swallowing for a number of individuals: the music student who cannot make an “adequate” living off of music; the artist who is laughed at when he says that he has a degree in the fine arts; and even to arts students who are constantly asked, “What are you going to do with that degree after you graduate?” Quite frankly these questions are annoying and depressing. Annoying because they are asked so frequently, and depressing because it reveals what society nurtures and holds dear to its heart—money—what you love to do no longer holds any value unless you can make money doing it, but money should not rule us, it should serve us in our pursuits.
The definition of the word practical must be changed to highlight the value of the self, not the material. The accumulation of material possessions should be less sought after than the development of the self. If you define yourself through the material, you lose yourself in the material. Kierkegaard has a beautiful statement about the emphasis that should be placed on the self: “The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing: every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc., is bound to be noticed.” Ones definition of practical should put emphasis on the self. People need to begin considering whom they are as individuals when searching for a practical career or education. A career or education that best suits one`s interests, complements one’s strengths, and is conscious of who one is seeking to become. Practical is that which fulfills one’s being; practical is that which allows individuals to lead meaningful and creative lives. Not everyone was meant to be a lawyer or a doctor. But, everyone was meant to develop individual talents and potential, so that a fulfilling life is the product of their existence.
A forest dweller named Dylan guided our disillusioned posse back to safety.
Jordan E getting crazy on the ferry to Victoria.
Photo by shouldadanished.tumblr.com
My new home.
My new roommate, Dylan, and I went for a bike ride at Central Park a couple days ago. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by green, rather then the brown dust bowl that makes up Edmonton. That place is a dirty city—in appearance and in culture. I am starting to see that more and more everyday, but I also see it here in Vancouver. It may be green and lush, and the buildings may be clean and tall, but they are tall for a reason— because people cant see that high. In Vancouver the corruption sits on the top floor, watching and hiding from all that it influences; it is an unfair advantage, but that wont change. And as elections in Vancouver are coming up, people, hopefully, are starting to see this: no matter who they vote for the land will be fracked and pipelines will be built, and in this respect, Vancouver and Edmonton are exactly the same, one is just better at hiding it then the other.
(Source: adamcooooper, via gnartitsgnar)
The crew voyaging back to Vancouver from Victoria.
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