Sorry, Grads: We've Taught You All Wrong

'Finding yourself' isn't step one
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 31, 2011 11:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – As another class graduates from colleges across America, David Brooks reflects on a generation “ill served by their elders”: We haven’t given them the skills to “navigate” an unpredictable world. “This year’s graduates are members of the most supervised generation in American history,” Brooks notes in the New York Times. “Through their childhoods and teenage years, they have been monitored, tutored, coached and honed to an unprecedented degree.” Problem is, “upon graduation they will enter a world that is unprecedentedly wide open and unstructured.”

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On top of that, they’ve been doused in “baby-boomer theology:” “Follow your passion, chart your own course.” But actually, adulthood is about “finding serious things to tie yourself down to.” Fact is, “most successful young people don’t look inside and then plan a life. They look outside and find a problem, which summons their life,” whether it’s a disease to cure or a bad boss to compensate for. The self isn’t necessarily “the center of life;” instead, “the tasks of a life are at the center.” In other words, “the purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.” (Read more David Brooks stories.)

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