Student Voice


July 14, 2024


Book sparks philosophical viewpoint

April 12, 2007

I was recently talking with my uncle about a new book called “The Secret.” I had never heard of “The Secret” until I was watching VH1 one morning before trekking off to the Hudson Cinema to clock in and prepare myself for a day full of screaming children and spiteful elderly people. The cast members of “Best Week Ever” were talking about this book; apparently the message of the book is, “If you truly want something, you simply need to wish for it day in, and day out and your wish will come true.”

When I was explaining this concept to my uncle, I told him about the example I had heard on the television; the example was about a boy who wanted a bicycle. This boy thought about his dream bicycle every day and every night, until one day his sweet old grandfather bought him the bicycle. The grandfather, of course, did not buy the bicycle because he wanted to shower his grandson with gifts; he bought this child the bicycle because of the strange powers of “The Secret.”

At this point my uncle chimed in with the following, “Michael, it reminds me of a story I once heard. You see, there was this man, a lonely man, who came across a funny-looking lamp. The man took the lamp and rubbed it, and lo and behold, a genie appeared. The man was told he could have one wish come true. He thought for some time about what he truly wanted most in this world.

‘Well, I could really use a little head’ and with that, the genie shrunk his head to the size of a grapefruit.” He went on to say, “You see, there is a message to this story; always wish for the bicycle.”

I have been repeating this advice over the last few weeks, mainly so I could tell a cheesy blow-job joke to my friends, and then I thought about the advice given to me; “always wish for the bicycle.” But why bother wishing for the bicycle?

My point is this: what’s the point of wishing for something you’re probably going to get; why do people feel the need to settle for the easy way out?

As the end of the year hits us all in full force, I feel a nauseating feeling in the pit of my stomach. Eventually I am going to graduate; a great number of you are already preparing to graduate. What now? We are told that after college comes a steady job, a family and the long road to retirement, and once we have retired, we will have the freedom to do as we please. This path is secure, it will lead to financial stability and two weeks paid vacation to the Jersey shore; staying on this path is like winning a brand new Huffy. Does this path really seem like the road you’re ready to take after graduation?

I am not ready for 9 to 5; I am not ready to settle into a career. I know I have a year or two or seven to think about this; to think about the road less traveled. Maybe that’s what I will do; hit the road less traveled. Maybe I’ll fly back to England and take a couple months just working as a bartender in a local pub, listening to the stories of the people around me; maybe I’ll hit the road with my sax and see where I end up; or maybe I’ll find happiness in front of a group of disengaged high school music students.

No matter where you end up after graduation, whether it is behind a desk, serving at a pub or working for a daily newspaper, just make sure that you’re always doing what you want to do. This life is too short to just settle for the easy way out; sometimes we need to risk a shrunken head instead of waiting for a new bicycle.

Mike Pearson is a student at UW-River Falls.