Hope is 1 of the most bewitching emotions. Its power drives us, whether we are youth considering law school in a down market to the over-50 who assume another degree will open new career paths. Unfortunately in this rapidly changing economy the result of this hope has been to invest in higher education w/o a payoff in a good job and w the residue of student debt.
Generations Y and X lawyers I talk to blame themselves for the pickle they are in. They default into the if onlys. Fill in the blanks there and you have gone to medical school, taken that management trainee job at a fast food chain, entered the family business, or married into money.
It might help them to realize that their plight has become universal. THE WASHINGTON POST reports on how the over-50, according the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is $36 billion in the hole for student loans. Some of that was accumulated by co-signing their relatives's student loans. But lots of it was due to their own hope in what education could do.
No surprise, the emerging meme is anti-hope. Henry Cloud hammers the big breakthrough which comes from reaching a point of hopelessness. His "Necessary Endings" is a useful read. In most of her writings, Buddhist nun Pema Chodron explains how hope anchors us in expectations. And expectations render us unable to see what could be in the now for us. In addition, Chodron tells us to forget trying to find something to hold onto. There is nothing.