If you are the light in the trees, then I am the shadow left behind. If you are the last warm breeze, then I am the creaking branches it will find. There is only one fact I cannot ignore, whatever I am you are more. (at Oak Terrace Resort)
— Mary Oliver (via middlenameconfused)
The issue isn’t whether you should go to law school (or get an advanced degree in another field). It’s really about your vision of how you can contribute to the human endeavor and be happy about your role and existence as a member of the global society. Our generation, shaped by war and poverty, had a simpler mandate—do everything we can to earn a living and put our children in a better economic footing. You have a much bigger mandate—save the world from its own excesses, ease the suffering of its inhabitants and make innovations to improve our state of being. It’s an ominous task! Once you figure out how you can help fulfill that mandate, the rest is easy…
One quick side-note, you mustn’t define a profession by dollars and cents or by a cost-benefit analysis. A janitor who is committed to his/her job can do more to advance the mandate than a medical researcher who lacks passion or ethics. You make a living by what you take, but you make a life by what you give. It’s not the degree, but what you do with it that counts.
These situations where I can’t make a choice because I’m too busy trying to envision the perfect one—that false perfectionism traps you in this painful ambivalence: If I do this, then that other thing I could have done becomes attractive. But if I go and choose the other one, the same thing happens again. It’s part of our consumer culture. People do this trying to get a DVD player or a service provider, but it also bleeds into big decisions. So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause here’s what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over. “
And,” he continues, “when you get to 80 percent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 percent! And the thing itself, especially if it’s a human being, will always reveal itself—100 percent of the time!—to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 percent. After that, you’re stuck at 90, but who the fuck do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 percent? It’s incredible!