As I sit here today I am pondering the thoughts and decisions I have made over the years. How many of those decisions came from me, and how many came from societal programming?
My reason for this line of thought stems from Christmas dinner yesterday. I ate that meal perfectly well, yet there is a part of me that is screaming over the fact that I’ve yet to get around to acquiring a set of dentures. I feel somehow wrong and less because I am toothless, but why?
I can eat perfectly well. I may not be able to eat nuts or really hard items, but I can eat. I can actually eat better now than I could when I had teeth!
So why do I want dentures? The purpose of dentures is to not just improve appearance but to help people eat better, right? Yet I can eat perfectly well without them and my appearance has already improved.
So how much of the desire for dentures is from me and how much of it is the programming I’ve received since childhood?
I am having similar questions with my pursuit of college. Why do I want a degree? An Associate’s Degree will increase my income potential a bit but to be honest; I’d make more if I took a job at a factory than I ever could with an Associate’s Degree.
As for the knowledge attained, I find myself doing busywork more than actually learning these days; if it were not for the pointless exercises I would have a lot more free time. I’ve reached the point where I do believe that I could learn more faster if I skipped the busywork and just read the books in my spare time.
Of course, college isn’t designed like that. If you don’t do the busywork your grades suffer immensely. Even worse, if you come to a solution in a way that varies from what the instructor wants you are wrong even if the result is exactly the same.
Yet we spend money just to spend our time doing stuff that really doesn’t matter in order to attain a piece of paper that is supposed to tell the world that we’ve become someone special.
I may be onery in my old age, but I’m beginning to question the logic of not only college, but other facets of my life. Just how much of my desires actually make practical sense in the grand scheme of things?
If the purpose of attaining a formal education is income, there are much faster and cheaper ways to do it. We can work at factories while they still hire humans. We can take a quick certification course and enter fields that don’t require a degree. Hell, if my only purpose is to earn more money I could start busting my ass on this website, produce more books, and go from there. I could even spend $500 to take a set of tests that would certify me in the computer field–and that would be a large boost in pay. I could start accepting new clients in my computer repair business or read a few books on phone repair and earn a tidy income from home.
So why am I so set on attaining a degree? With any of the other options I would actually be able to earn even more money a lot faster than I could by spending my time in college.
And if I said “forget about it” on my teeth I could save $1,000 or thereabouts and be done with the mess.
Just how much of these desires are from me, and how much is from my societal programming?
Have you ever thought about that? Wondered how much of your desires are truly yours? What is your opinion of my personal situation?
I could really use some advice right now so please contribute to the discussion by commenting below. I would really like to know if I’m on to something or if I’m losing my mind.