Website owner:  James Miller

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Teenage decisions

     The teenage years are years of uncertainty.  The future of 
     the teenager, the general shape and form of his future, is 
     undecided.  It all depends on decisions and luck. 

     A teenager has two very important, life-shaping decisions 
     facing him:  1. The choice of a profession, career or 
     occupation.  2. The choice of a marriage partner. 

   Choice of an occupation.  A teenager can do one of two things: 
     1. He can prepare himself for some profession, occupation or 
     trade through formal schooling  2. He can prepare himself for 
     nothing in particular.  There are drawbacks to both options. 

     The drawback of the first option is that the educational 
     preparation for most of the better professions (i.e. doctor, 
     lawyer, engineer, scientist, etc.) is long and hard, 
     requiring a lot of hard work, perseverance, and money.  And, 
     in addition, after all this investment of work, money, etc. 
     there is still no real guarantee of a job.  In at least some 
     of the professions there is the possibility that a job may be 
     hard to find. 

     The drawback of the second option is that, if the teenager 
     prepares himself for nothing in particular, the line of work 
     that he will eventually end up in will probably be largely a 
     matter of chance and there are a great many low-paying, 
     unrewarding, miserable lines of work out there that he might 
     end up in.  If a teenager prepares himself for nothing in 
     particular the usual scenario is that he takes whatever job 
     he can find, whatever type of work it may be.  If he doesn't 
     like that type of work he moves to another job.  After 
     possibly several job changes he acquires some experience in 
     some line of work and ends up spending the rest of his life 
     in that particular line of work.  Chance and fate govern it 
     all.  The need for food and shelter force him to work at 
     something, no matter how miserable or unpleasant or unsuited 
     to his personality the job may be.  This is even more so if 
     he marries young and has children, placing the responsibility 
     of loved ones on his shoulders.  So if he finds himself 
     without work circumstances force him to take something, no 
     matter what it is, and quickly. 

     Whatever line of work a person ends up in that line of work 
     will determine a great deal of the detail and content of his 
     life.  Some jobs require a lot of traveling, others none; 
     some involve working inside at a desk all day, others out in 
     the hot sun in hard manual labor; some involve various kinds 
     of dangers to health, others do not; some give a great deal 
     of personal satisfaction, others none; some pay well, others 
     don't; etc., etc. 

   Choice of a marriage partner.  The ways in which people meet 
     their future marriage partners are endless.  Chance and fate 
     governs it all.  Many people start meeting and dating others 
     of the opposite sex when they are in their early teens; 
     others, for various reasons, wait until they are older; many 
     people play around and are promiscuous, others don't.  Some 
     people are very choosy and selective about who they will 
     date, others aren't.  But however they happen to meet their 
     future mates and however old they are when they decide to 
     marry, the actual decision of who they will marry is usually 
     based more on feelings and emotions (i.e. romantic 
     infatuation, "being in love") or on desperation or expediency 
     than it is on reason and good sense.  And there is no 
     decision in life that does more to decide the details, 
     content, and quality of one's life than one's selection of a 
     mate.  If you mess up in this decision you mess up your life.  
     Marriage is one of those things in life that is easy to get 
     into, but not easy to get out of.  You don't get out of it 
     without scars and tears.  The intangible, emotional bonds 
     created by marriage are not easily broken no matter what some 
     foolish people might think.  No matter how thoughtlessly and 
     lightly a person may enter into a marriage contract he has 
     taken a life-shaping action.  No decision in life calls more 
     loudly for prudence, sense and caution than the choice of a 
     marriage partner. 

   Aug 1994

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