I am at an existential crossroads. Years of higher education, clinical training, and licensed, professional experience on the resume, I ask myself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
This is healthy. Our cultural narrative for maturity is b$*#&%. Having a 9-to-5 and slowly stocking away in a 401-K doesn’t equate to maturity.
A good friend once told me that she asks the same questions. She is twice my age. Perhaps these are question to never stop asking.
In Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia reference the transcendent ideals of Plato: the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
Plato considered these three ideals ends in themselves, not as means to other higher ends. Those who pursue the Good want to serve others because it is intrinsically rewarding to do so, not because they anticipate some favorable consequence from doing so. The pursuit of Knowledge or Truth is its own reward, whether or not that knowledge is ever used in a particular way. The creation of Beauty is an intensely soul-satisfying, uniquely human experience. People create beauty because their desire to do so arises from deep within. Their creation need not be seen or experienced by anyone else to make it worth while; it need only to please its creator. (Conscious Capitalism)
When I grow up….A systematic pursuit of the good, true, and beautiful. Sounds quite nice, if I do say so myself.