The world changed forever after the horrific attacks occurring on 9/11. In fact, it’s surreal just how much the world seemed to change on a dime following that heart-wrenching September morning. But that’s a much longer post for another day. Along with New York City, Washington D.C. forever altered its security protocols, procedures and precautions after that day. Traveling to, driving and walking around our nation’s capital pre-9/11 and post 9/11 have been starkly different experiences. The former felt relatively open and relaxing while the latter has felt armed and distant.
And that’s okay, because we are not fighting another country, but Islamic extremists who cowardly attack using disguised guerrilla warfare. The war is not with the collective, but the individual. Accordingly, the proper defense demands acute awareness at all times.
Or so we thought.
Reading reports and watching videos that reenacted the White House intruder’s path has been mind-boggling. How in the hell did this happen? It’s more difficult to steal a book at Barnes and Noble than it is to enter the front door of The White House with a knife in hand and then run from room to room looking for the President of the United States of America. Think about that! The intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was one turn away from the stairs that lead up to the first family’s living quarters.
So, somebody in the secret service please remind us: If you’re not even going to lock the front door or even guard the outer perimeter of The White House, the most important building and symbol in the nation, then what’s been with all the extra security all these years? This is just another instance of when people are again forced to answer the question of, “can you believe this happened?” with “actually, yes, yes I can.” I was in Washington, D.C. this past Monday afternoon and stood with a group of tourists behind extra barricades to The White House across the street from the iconic St. Johns Church. Looking around, it’s still inconceivable how someone could jump the fence, run across the lawn and then into The White House.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg with the Secret Service and this is all combined with the myriad of domestic and global events the past few years that are causing the world to spin out of control with increasing lack of trust in vital institutions and people. But if this of all things happened, what can we possibly expect to take place next? The world continues to get more and more nonsensical. Things are just crazy.
Whether it’s from high school or college, it’s an event of celebration, reflection and some lighthearted humor.
Plus, a life lesson or two.
Interestingly, high school graduation feels more like a collective achievement because we all made it to that singular destination (college). Our high school class grew up together, from our first memories at preschool. Regardless of the specific university, we were going to college.
We did it!
Graduating from college is more of an individual achievement because we (more than likely) went to school with people from different towns, states and maybe even countries. Our studies were specialized to our interests. At this point, after walking across the stage with our diploma in-hand, we had to find our specific destination within the gigantic and chaotic thing called “the real world.”
Can I do it?
Six years later, I’ve thought about what I would like to hear if I was just now graduating from college. Or, what I wished I had heard six years ago.
Here it goes, a shortened version anyways.
The world we live in is a crazy place. And I mean crazy! Just watch or read the news at any hour of the day and you know what I’m talking about.
“Why have they spent the past 24 hours telling us they haven’t found this plane yet?”
The world is a busy and random place. The people we come across on a daily basis ranges from normal to the absurd, yet everything seems to function as it’s supposed to, like clockwork.
How does all this come together to work?
I guess it’s all just kind of imperfectly perfect.
Anyways…Doctor. Lawyer. Captain of Industry.
These are the sough-after “money” positions. These are the jobs we should pursue, right?
Yes and no.
If it fits for you, then sure, absolutely. If not, find something that fits you better, whether it exists or not.
My sincere advice?
Whatever ranks you decide to join or invent as an entrepreneur, be sure to add your special kind of craziness to the mix, both in and out of the workplace.
What do I mean?
Be crazy nice and always open the door for the person behind you or in front of you.
Be crazy awesome and launch a business that makes dynamite food concoctions (FYI- Voodoo Doughnut in Portland nailed it with their Bacon Maple Bar doughnut!).
Be crazy in love and dedicate yourself to that special someone in your life.
Be crazy creative and market in ways thought to be too “outside the box.”
Be crazy compassionate and volunteer at the local Food Bank in your spare time and connect in ways you never imagined.
Be crazy inspiring and wash the windows at a local hospital in a superhero costume as excited kids watch.
Be crazy dancing guy/girl and make someone laugh on a Wednesday.
Be crazy enough to believe you can bring something to the “real world” that makes it a little better.
In this economy, jobs are few and far between. Past assumptions about living post-college are flying out the window. Will the above result in your dream job? I have no idea, but for this generation, you must be dedicated to thinking that you have the opportunity (and necessity) to bring some positive craziness to a world that’s becoming increasingly crazy and uncertain. If you do, then maybe that one person will take a chance on you for that job you’ve always wanted? Maybe that one person will say “yes” to a date? Maybe that one person will inspire you to do something you’re passionate about, but were too nervous to do before?
Instead of looking for a needle in a haystack, become that needle in a haystack. Be a bright, shining presence who is ready for their shot when the right person looks in your direction.
You’d be crazy not to.
Three seasons in with the elusive fourth season comeback finally within reach by way of an available Netflix account.
Two many laughs to recap in a single blog post.
One wondrous video to watch that captures/recaptures some (admittedly not all) of the best moments from the first 3 seasons of the hilariously acted and written show, Arrested Development.
March 21st (or 3/21) seems like a perfect day to celebrate such a momentous countdown.