Last week I had lunch with a young woman from around here who's going into the same line of work I'm in. She graduated from college in December, and now is gaining some real world experience before she goes on to graduate school. She wanted to pick my brains, and we sat there in a booth at the restaurant talking far into the afternoon.
I've been a friend of her family for many years now. I remember when she was a kid in grade school. It's gratifying to see a young adult who has a sense of direction, who has her head screwed on straight, who's asking intelligent and searching questions, and who's successfully navigating the minefield of young adulthood. She's always been highly intelligent, not just head-smart but talented on so many different levels at once, and her various talents are well integrated. Her talents are far better integrated than mine were at her age. She'll do well and she'll go far.
She probably won't make much money-- those of us in the helping professions seldom do-- but then, there are higher and more important goals than the almighty dollar. It's especially gratifying to see such a talented young person who is out for something more exalted than just making a pile of bucks.
I look at so many other young adults around here, and they're adrift, or they're struggling, or they're still in an adolescence which will extend well into their twenties, or they've made personal missteps that will be with them for years to come, or they just don't care. Today's culture doesn't do much to help them; it often helps rationalize or even encourage their aimless drift. I'm just glad for young adults like my young padawan, who knows very well what she is up to, and is not going to be distracted from her mission by the siren song of the ambient culture.