No Floor, No Ceiling

I was talking to a friend in college who will likely go straight to a PhD after he graduates the other night about life outside of academia, given my 1 year of experience.

It made me realize how great business is. For a liberal arts grad it can be scary that there are no guarantees that we get to keep our lifestyle. The U.S. does provide Welfare, but most of us would consider anything that doesn’t pay at least $25,000 and also make a noticeably positive impact on the world as failure. But it’s liberating to know that in the world, there is a higher grade than an “A.” You can do absolutely as well as you can do, and you can apply any skills you can muster. On a philosophical level, I’ve always loved the quote (from a song)

I don’t need to hear your answer.
I just need to you feel like there are no boundaries at all.

What you or I do or say or decide today or tomorrow is pretty much OK with me. What matters is that we have faith that anything is possible.

In college when I felt stressed I used to drive up to the mountains overlooking Los Angeles and just stare at the city. I could draw a line in the cityscape between Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County. The line makes tremendous difference to anyone who lives there and wants buy a house, send their kids to school, talk to their neighbors, or find a job.

But the line is not real. It’s a man-made fiction that has a profound immediate impact on many but, at the same time, is trampled every day by the bustling activity of the life around it. Government has some influence based on how the highways are routed and lines on maps, but the fact that houses extend for 100 miles in nearly every direction from LA is due not to the WPA but to 20 million individual people building their lives. I love LA despite despite how disgusting it can be because it creates dreams and gives rise to so much that would seem impossible.

It is easy to see from the perspective of the mountains, above the smog, far from classes, and amid the scent of desert sage which I will always love.

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