My teenager often ponders her career path these days. She wants a salary (likely because neither of her parents, being self-employed, ever managed that little detail). She wants to love what she does.
My younger daughter listed the various what-I-want-to-be desires she’s cycled through: a pop star, a race car driver, a jeweler in Boston. Then she thought for a moment and said, I’m happy doing what I’m doing now. I’m a really good fifth grader.
I interrupted their conversation to pull over on the road’s shoulder at the mini-storage, and we stood on a strip of frost-bitten grass staring up at a confluence of turkey vultures, circling around and around in the air currents.
Back in the car, my older daughter in her pragmatic way told her sister, Do fifth grade while you’re there, and then worry about the rest of your life.
If these rescuers (of Jews in WWII) had anything in common… it was self-knowledge. When you know yourself there is little to say. This is worth brooding upon as we consider how we, who know ourselves so poorly and have so much to say about ourselves, will respond to challenges to come.
— Timothy Snyder, Black Earth