17. NowHe watched his son fret over this and that. What classes to take, what to major in, what activity would be the most advantageous to pursue to reach his goals, what those goals should be, and on and on. He was proud that his son cared about his place in the world and how to make the most of it, but he also watched him get nearly paralyzed when the decision seemed to big, his stack of pros and cons growing ever larger.

One day, he decided that he would try to give one last bit of what he hoped was Big Wisdom.

“Son,” he said, “I’ve seen you worry about your place in the world.”

“Yeah, Dad?”

“Yeah, so I’m gonna try to help you.”


“Don’t thank me yet,” he said. It was a nice day, so he and his son walked while he talked.

“You need some perspective,” he started. “In 100 years, you and everyone you know will be dead.”


“So, once we’re dead, what then? There will be those who remember you, but they’ll be dead a few years after that. Who’ll remember you once no one knew you? In 100 years, some people might remember a Beatle or two. Make a big enough noise, and you might be remembered like Shakespeare for a few hundred more. Get yourself in a Bible, you might get a few thousand years of notoriety.”

“What are you saying?”

“You’re here. Now. Take whatever damn class you want.”