Where I try to answer a serious question seriously

A good friend asked me the other day what I want from life. I sent her this in an e-mail:

I *want* to be a successful entrepreneur, just I don’t think I have the balls for it, or the drive to be successful. But it’s sort of an implied part of libertarianism that everyone who has the ability and talent has a responsibility to be entrepreneurial and create value where none was before, and I do think I have the ability and talent. Doing that is not the most important thing to me, but it is a place where I would be happy if my life took me.

I think being an author could be a way to do this that is less difficult, but I don’t know how proud I would be if I went that route.

I want to have children, and I want to spend time with them. Being a stay-at-home dad would make me very happy, and I think I would do a good job raising children. I am patient, I love very deeply, and learning and teaching are things I want to do for the rest of my life. Kids are willing to teach and learn so much more readily than other people, that I think it would be fulfilling to be around them, especially my own. I would love to see them grow their own abilities, personalities, and preferences, and then send them out in the world and support them any way I can. I find supporting people to be very fulfilling.

I don’t just have a drive to teach children, though, I want to teach everyone I meet. That seems condescending, I think, but I don’t mean it to be. I feel like I’ve learned so much about being human, and being happy, and doing the right thing and I want others to know what I’ve learned, and I want to learn where I’m wrong. Improving myself is always a goal that’s worth doing. Grinnellians, in general, already know most of this stuff, so I love talking to them but I don’t really feel fulfilled because I’m not helping them along the path towards truth and freedom (they are usually already there (or painfully obtuse)). I don’t know if you read the exchange I had with my wife that I put on my blog, but she said that she is a better person because of me. I want to do that for everyone. I think that is part of why I started my blog.

I want to be respected. I want people to know I love them.

I want to be well-rounded. I want to have had travels, adventures, and I want stories to tell. I think this is the least likely of the things I want to do that I will do. I am too miserly, too meek, and too scared of throwing my other life goals off track. To some extent, they’ve already been thrown off track by recent events, and even though that should make me feel freer to throw myself to the wind, it
doesn’t. It makes me afraid the rest of it will go too, and I will be left with nothing. So I don’t know if I will ever do this part of it, unless I meet someone who is daring and wants me to join them for a time (I’m mostly talking about a woman here, a mate, but it could also be a good friend).

This is probably a longer answer than you wanted. Thank you for asking the question. I love being asked questions, because formulating the answers is the best way I know to better understand myself. I tend not to think of the questions on my own.

She told me I should become a teacher, which I think I would be good at, but I am not yet ready to go that route. Perhaps in a few years more I will want to. I had some really good teachers growing up and I think I would like to do for others what they did for me. But for right now I’m going to see where being a programmer and having a little bit more free time will lead me.


One Response

  1. I think you’re a good teacher. A conversation with you usually leads to thinking and learning something.

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