Thursday, November 11, 2004


I am on occasion reproached by those above or beside me for my lack of ambition. To be perfectly honest, I am a man of two minds on the subject. It seems, if I may be forgiven the conceit, that through either chance or design I have at my disposal an array of personal abilities well suited to most any challenge I may care to assume. I am reasonably intelligent, possessed with an active imagination, and though perhaps I do not regard them favorably, wit passes often enough for charm so that I have little difficulty with social engagements. Though I am by no means a stunning example of man's physical excellence, nor am I well disposed towards suffering life's little annoyances, and these consist of but the least of my faults, I remain (at least by my own estimation) a person of substantial potential.

With this realization I sometimes think that I should owe it to myself the maintenance of high goals. With sustained effort I can probably find myself atop the scholastic ladder, or at least on one of the upper rungs. It is likely that I could find a profitable method of employment, and I should not be surprised if I managed a number of enviable achievements. These arguments have a certain amount of sway, as I would like to rich and influential, not only for the pleasure they would give in themselves, but also for the singularly unique life they allow. Whether or not I can attain such high status is somewhat unclear, but I am likely only to do so through the expenditure of effort.

On the other side, I feel as though life could hardly be more perfect than that which I am presently inclined to enjoy. School can offer unlimited challenges, and near as many intellectual rewards, but its actual demands are quite modest. I attend only so many classes as necessary, and follow the readings only so long as I am likely to need them. A sack of potatoes could scarcely expend less effort in pursuit of my legal education, and though I impress nobody with my standings, I remain adequately disposed to an honorable scholastic conclusion. This was my attitude in college too, where it served me just as well. That is to say, just as well as it had to.

Through my short life I have come to the conclusion that happiness is predicated on the achievement of goals. Everyone has them, and they range from the grandiose to the humble, and they have as many causes as effects. Some are rational or materialistic. Others are absurd, conceited, or even dangerous. Nevertheless, everyone's got'em, and they are content insofar as they are accomplished. But it seems to me that happiness is a multiple choice question, and so then one may try harder or set the bar lower, and it may be that the result is the same. Whether this is true or not remains, at least to me, unknown, but hopefully the matter will be clear before the choice is irreversable.

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