"Broadening your Horizons"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
"Broadening your Horizons"
234
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:41pm
Okay, I've been scanning through the posts below, and this is something that has grabbed my attention. There are those here who seem to believe that you can only broaden your horizons by going to college or joining the peace corps or military. It also seems that doing so as a young person (directly out of high school) is preferable.

So, I'm curious about how people feel these things actually "broadened their horizons", and how that has benefited them in their lives so far. I'm also curious how you feel this has benefited you more so than someone who might have opted out of college/military/peace corps.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

Pages

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 8:16pm
Bingo! That's why there is no right and wrong here. Only personal preferences and personal lifestyle choices. As I said, that little potted plant doesn't need to be put into the garden where it can spread it's roots and grow bigger. It can be perfectly happy with it's roots completely filling it's world and never even know there is a garden. However, if that little potted plant starts telling the plants in the garden they are inferior for not making the same choice to stay in their pots...I'll give it the pinching back it deserves....

Take my sister (I WISH someone would take my sister, lol). She lives her life with decisions being made for her by either her religion or her dh. She's happy this way (she says she can't ever be held to blame if she doens't make the decisions (I need a rolling my eyes icon here)). If she'd quit trying to tell the rest of us how screwed up we are because we have our own opinions and actually make decisions, no one would care that she prefers to live her life with her brain an untapped resource. The problems arise when she tries to tell the rest of us we're inferior wives and mothers because we don't follow this plan for our lives. My sister is a prime example of the plant still in the pot. Nobody would care that she chooses to live her life root bound except that she has to preach about how superior her lifestyle is when it isn't. However, it's not, intrinsically, inferior either. If she's happy, her dh is happy and the kids are happy, who cares. I wouldn't live my life that way but it's really the copping a superior attitude part that creates problems not the fact she's chosen a different lifestyle.




Edited 4/5/2003 9:18:47 PM ET by cyndiluwho

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 8:25pm
Let's go a little further on this one.

Your definition of the "most out of life" is obviously very different from mine. For many people, family is the most they can get out of life. There are people who spend their entire lives trying to find someone to call "family". Being a SAHP, not going to college or joining the military, living in the same town/state your entire life, those are not things that indicate a person can not be enlightened, or educated or even interested in the rest of the world. It also doesn't mean they are living with blinders on.

It seems to me that you are saying the only way to lead a completely fulfilling life is to go to college, WOH, travel, etc. If that is truely what you think, I find it very sad for you.

College is not the only way to grow as a person. The military or peace corps aren't the only way. There are MANY things that make us grow as people, and each of us follow the path that is best for us (hopefully). Just because someone chooses a path that you very obviously do not believe in doesn't make them less of a person than you. And it doesn't mean they contribute less to society than you.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 11:30pm
The only way to lead a "completely" fulfilling life would be to do everything and you just can't do that. I've been to college and it's something my kids WILL do. Not going is NOT an option. IMO, it opens your mind, your eyes and lots of doors. Yes, I consider it pretty much necessary even if you never do anything with that education beyond opening your own mind. That in of itself is quite worth 4 years of pain and the tuition bill. An education is something no one can ever take away from you. If nothing else, it's a nice fall back plan.

I'm sure traveling abroad would be an equally mind opening experience and some day I hope to do some traveling. It's not in the cards right now but I realize that my understanding of other cultures is quite limited due to my lack of exposure to them. I'm hoping we're in position to do some traveling when my girls are in their teens. It would be nice to do it when they're still at home so they can benefit from the experience as well.

To get the most out of life, you have to experience different things but that is not to say you can't find happiness without doing those things. You'll just find it in a more limited way but that really doesn't matter when you're unaware of the limitations. Having BTDT, I know the value and will ENCOURAGE (coerce, bribe, cajoil, whatever it takes) my dd's to attend college. College I'll pay for. Their wedding they can pay for themselves. I, especially, think college is a must for women. It opens so many doors for us. There are several industries open to men where they can make a good living without a degree but, for us, it's pretty much get educated. You can go the self education route but that piece of paper opens a lot of doors if that doesn't work out.

An education is never wasted but you can waste your brain. Of course it's your brain to do with what you want. No one says you actually have to use it. Getting educated is part of expanding your horizons. If you don't want to expand them, then don't but don't expect those of us who have some understanding of what it is to develop and improve yourself to pat you on the back for it. Getting educated is hard work. Not everyone is cut out for it. I will never be through getting educated. I can't believe I'm back in school at my age but I know I'll be better for the wear when all is said and done.

No you don't have to get an education if you don't want one but the odds are more in your favor if you do. I will INSIST my girls get educated. If for nothing else so they are capable of taking care of themselves should the need arise. I think everyone should be capable of taking care of themselves. Dependency can be such an ugly thing when things don't go right.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 12:11am
So tell me...do you also consider someone who chooses to not have children as someone who cannot have a completely fulfilling life?

How about someone who chooses not to marry? Or do you just consider someone who chooses not to attend college as someone who cannot have a completely fulfilling life?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 6:48am
"The only way to lead a "completely" fulfilling life would be to do everything"

Isn't that a judement call? How can one person say how fulfilled another person is? What is "everything"? Since no one can do absolutely everythng is there no one that is completely fulfilled.

Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 7:25am
ROFL. Cindy, you are a hoot. Obviously many things in life matter to *you* or you wouldn't be wasting so much time on this board trying to convince people they do. For example, high SES and extra-curricular activities for your children, being a WOHM (vs. a bored SAHM), how you spend "enough" time with them, that NO CHILD needs a SAHP, yada yada yada.

outside_the_box_mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 8:18am
Okay, well perhaps it is not a question of age. I personally do not know, because I only went directly after hs. I would think that most people can say they were different upon graduation than they were in their original registration - that fact, I am not arguing. (In fact, not many people can say they are *exactly* who they were four years ago right now, at this moment because as another poster has pointed out, our lives evolve all the time.) I would never argue that college is a bad thing, or that no one gains from the experience.

I just don't believe that college and travel is the end-all for broadening yourself. I think you can accomplish this off-campus. I would not consider my own life off-campus non-broadening at all. I can still explore new ideas and new situations not having been in a lecture hall 40 miles away. Travel is not essential to understand the world. Understanding itself comes from changing your own perception. Therefore, how could I believe that it only happens in college? If I thought it were the only way, I would have never left... LOL

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 8:36am
No, not a judgement. You don't know how any experience will cause you to grow until you experience it. You can't say beforehand, oh THAT wouldn't do me any good. You can only look back after you have done something and say whether it was a growth experience or not. So, the only way to live a "completely" fulfilled life, as in fulfill all possibilities, would be to do everything and that is not possible. We pick and choose what we want in our lives becasue we can't have it all. Having taken the time and effort to educate myself, I find getting an education one of the more worthwhile things to do in life. It is something my children WILL have. It's too valuable and impacts you in too many positive ways not to make sure my children are educated. If I weren't educated, I wouldn't be able to say one way or the other whether or not it's worthwhile. You have to experience something to realize how it affects you. Because I am educated and didn't go to college right out of high school (I have some experience as an uneducated adult) I can reflect both on being educated and not educated.

Before I was educated, I didn't think an education was antying I needed. I never planned on completing any kind of degree program. I went to a local community college with the intent on getting some kind of certificate that would allow me to get a better job. I ended up going on to a bachelors and a masters degree because I found out that an education is a valuable thing on a personal level. My statement is just recognition of the fact that the only way to know how something will affect you is to experience it.

Someday I plan to travel. Right now, having never done it, I can only speculate on how it will affect me. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Those who have travelled say it will but I will have no idea howso until I do it myself. I may decide after the fact that it wasn't worth the effort but I can't make that judement call now. All I can do is look at how traveling has affected others and decide whether or not it's something I want to try.

Prior to getting an education, I thought an education was all about getting a job. The only reason I decided to get one was I was tired of dead end jobs. Fortunately, for me, getting an education turned out to be a lot more than just a means to getting a job.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 8:38am
Read the part in my post where I said you CAN'T choose to do everything. If your aim in life is to live as fullfilled a life as possible, you need to try as many possibilities as you can. None of us can try them all. Our lives just aren't long enough.
Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 8:45am
Fortunately, I don't have to do the convincing. The researchers have done it for me. As to why I spend time here, it's my time to waste. I like to debate. Here there's always something to debate. Why try and imply motives in what I do here? What's it to you why I'm here and what impact does it have on the debate? My reasons for being here are irrelevent. This is just a lame attempt at a put down. Who cares what matters to me?? What matters is whether or not I can defend my position on the topic at hand. Besides, you're all wet. You see, you don't know me or my motives. Why you're grasping at this straw to try and assign alterior motives to my debate, I have no idea because even if it's true, it doesn't change the debate or what the researchers have said.

No, my working status doesn't matter. Yes, SES and things like early musical training do matter (go look at the research yourself). Sorry you don't like that but I can't change the facts to suit your fantasy.

Pages