Saturday, August 13, 2005

Cruel Intentions, Staring Mom and Dad

Parents, for the most part, are well intentioned in their actions. I often remind myself of this in dealings with my mother and father. It helps prevent the typical teenage "MY PARENTS ARE TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE!!!" reaction to parental interaction. However, lately I've been wondering if these well-meaning parents ever keep their goals in mind when dealing with their children. Because with my parents, usually what they do and what they mean to do are about as closely related as me and Hilary Duff.

My parents have always been reasonably supportive of me and my academic persuits. They're proud of my accomplishments, and encourage me. They usually have the "find what makes you happy and do it" attitude.

Except now that I've been pondering less science-oriented careers, their reactions to discussions of such changes reveal a modified philosophy of "find what will get you a job and money, and do it." Yet, they still claim to only be interested in my happiness. Apparently, rolling your eyes at the mention of non-scientific fields, and discrediting my reasons for disliking scientific research are actions of someone trying to be suportive of my search for a fulfilling career. Odd.

Of course, I sort of suspected such things from my engineer father. As with most engineers (and scientists), he sees science and engineering as the only worthwhile fields. And of course, if you go into anything else you'll end up an unemployed bum. Particularly with engineers, if you go into anything that's not completely practical (i.e. something artistic or more academically founded), it is seen as a complete waste of time.

As a previous post indicates, I completely disagree with my father's notions. For the most part, that's what I find so frustrating with his sudden lack of support--the fact that it's based on ridiculous principles. There's also the fact that my confusion about what I want to do is not at all helped by my parents disliking a lot of the things I've pondered persuing.

Oh well. I've never been one to compromise my desires just for other people, so I don't suppose I'll start now. But still, this incident (among several other unrelated ones) really make me wonder if my parents ever think before they speak and act. They may mean well, but intentions hardly matter when they rarely come across.


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