June 2, 2011
Graduates, Your Mountain Is Waiting
Mazal tov graduates! I have some sage advice that can make you rich. Broaden your horizons.
Not to be a downer, but according to the statistics, the job market for you is as low as it can go. I’m really sorry. The chance for a job that actually requires that major of yours? It’s even lower. So exactly how are you, the Facebook Generation, going to get rich? Expand your worldview.
Don’t waste your time in a search for a dead-end job or a career. The world is a big place, and you will never have this chance again. As one of our greatest teachers, Dr. Suess said in The Places You’ll Go, “Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”
Volunteer somewhere in this vast world where your help is really needed. A billion people want to learn your native language English. Impoverished communities from Guatemala to India, can benefit from your idealism and energy.
Here at home in America, communities ravaged by poverty and natural disasters need you to help pick up the pieces. Joplin, Missouri, alone could keep you busy for a year. Detroit needs an army of teachers to battle illiteracy.
Another way to broaden your horizons is by setting out for a spiritual quest. It’s no secret, but you don’t spend much time in college on the meaning of life . You are college graduates, with advanced secular educations, but few of you have explored your Jewish spiritual heritage since your Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. There is an ocean of knowledge and wisdom waiting for you.
How long should you spend on this quest to broaden your horizons?
Long enough so that you do not miss the comfort of your current surroundings.
Long enough so that you realize more about what you want to accomplish and where to use your God-given gifts when you return.
Long enough to open your mind and heart, and provide precious skills for your life’s journey.
Long enough to experience unforgettable often unplanned moments, where your soul is elated.
CEO’s agree, that the candidate with diverse and interesting experiences, makes a better hire for that job. Additionally, in your job and your career, you will be able to draw upon your experiences to find creative solutions that put you ahead of the rest.
So when you hang up your gowns and hat….pack your bags.
Graduates, members of the Facebook Generation, my message to you is:
Enrich your soul in spiritual quests.
Your mountain is waiting.
Yonah Bookstein, a leading voice of the Next Generation of American Jewry, is an internationally recognized expert in Jewish innovation, and Executive Rabbi at Jewlicious and JConnectLA. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiYonah.