We are all potentially such sick men. The sanest and best of us are of one clay with lunatics and prison-inmates. And whenever we feel this, such a sense of the vanity of our voluntary career comes over us, that all our morality appears as a plaster hiding a sore it can never cure, and all our well-doing as the hollowest substitute for that well-being that our lives ought to be grounded in, but alas! are not so.
William James (1842 - 1910)
Source: The Thought and Character of William James, by Ralph Barton Perry
You know what you have to do. . . . Your job, your purpose is to get accepted, get a cute girlfriend, think up something great to do for the rest of your life. What if you're confused and can't imagine a career? What if you're funny looking and can't get a girlfriend? You see? No one wants to hear it. But the terrible secret is that being young is sometimes less fun than being dead.
American parents, on the whole, do not want their sons to be artisans or craftsmen, but business or professional people. As a result, millions of youngsters are being prepared for careers they have little aptitude for - and little interest in except for dubious prestige.