LIFE today is becoming increasingly more competitive. This is reflected in education, where admission to select courses has become almost impossible.
The quest for power, prestige and wealth is visible in student aspirants. The courses that offer the best career opportunities are most sought after, because a good career means a comfortable life.
Campus career counsellors help young students to make the right choice. But most students prefer to opt for only those courses and subjects which hold the promise of a bright future – ultimately, the ‘good life’.
But not all student-aspirants will get the course of their choice. There are bound to be disappointments, because the demand for seats is much more than the availability.
But setbacks and lamentations are not the preserve of disappointed students. Some of those who get to realise their ambitions are equally disillusioned. We cry over what we lose Ñ often, we also cry over what we gain.
King Solomon, one of the wisest of men, wrote an account of his efforts to find fulfilment in life. He records: ‘I undertook great projects … I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me.’
Yet in the end he concluded that all his possessions and achievements represented nothing more than his vanity.
King Solomon then made a deliberate effort to acquire wisdom. But he soon discovered that although wisdom is desirable, the same fate overtakes the wise man and the fool. He realised that everyone shares a common destiny.
He then looked for meaning in the happenings and strivings of men ‘under the sun and found that even those few wise men who searched for the meaning of existence Ñ while claiming to have understood Ñ did not comprehend it truly’.
King Solomon found that the swiftest man did not always win the race; the strongest man did not always win the battle, and wealth did not necessarily accrue to men of wisdom.
So if you are a disappointed student who failed to get into the course of your choice, don’t be disheartened. You might not realise your dreams of becoming a doctor or an engineer, but that doesn’t mean that you are unfit for any other vocation.
Whatever your field of work, take interest in it. Work diligently to the best of your ability. Take pride in your work.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.