12 April 2010

On Job Hunting

It is often remarked that we ought to get a job immediately after graduation from university. Driven by financial necessity, there exists a tendency to think that chasing money is our prior objective to ensure happiness. Money, rather than man, as opposed to Aristotle's maxim, is the measure of all things. Our parents and peers encourage this sentiment. Instead of encouraging us to pursue our dreams, we are enforced to submit our thinking to the rigours of pessimism, that seldom we are able to overcome the conditions of reality. We are destined to fill our busy days with tedious jobs.

If the pursuit of our dreams is deemed too impractical, it is because what we do is largely determined by chance. We have been taught that this is a meritocratic society. But all too often the media offers conclusive evidence of a contrary fact, that talents and intelligence don't necessarily ensure success. In Hong Kong, it is not surprising to see the wise are governed by the stupid and books are written, while lacking any grandeur, by those who are deprived of common sense. Small wonder our dreams are kept in the realm of fantasy.

However disappointing the reality may seem, are we not allowed the superstitious faith that one day we can savour our dreams? Are we forever condemned a chance to articulate the fabric of human mind so our life can take on a certain value? Are we to approach life from an evolutionary perspective that life is deemed meaningless?

But when we are young, what distinguishes us from other age groups is perhaps something called passion, a desire to put our imaginative vision into practice. Our thoughts are not confined within realism. Rather, we harbour a strong determination to be able to change what is. Of course, we are often reminded of the possibility of the attainment of our dreams after retirement. Unfortunately, this optimistic line of thought is easily interrupted when we look in the mirror and locate signs of imminent mortal disaster along the contours of our face, threatening to crumble up our skin texture. A marked quality of old age.

Perhaps it is true that success depends on sheer luck. But rather than devote our entire strength to money chasing when we are young, isn't it more sensible to devote it to the pursuit of our dreams given the fact that we are all mortals? Money is relatively unimportant at an early age. We will not regret missing the chance to chase money because we can work ourselves to death for pecuniary reasons our whole life but we will regret not pursuing our dreams because it is only a privilege associated with youth. It does not sound very inspiring, but it is generally true. Moreover, the pursuit of dreams is more like a direction, not necessarily a place, and burns itself out with the attainment of its goal, hence gives meaning to our life.

Therefore, for those who graduate and read my article until this point, if you still don't retreat from your habitual job hunting, I shall have lived in vain.


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