Law or Nursing?

A Letter To My Dear Friend

Last night, I felt the urge to somehow say something that time when you were telling me your story about choosing between the nursing stuff and the “lack of goal” in law stuff. I wish to say I think you should at the latest consider about deciding what to really pursue seriously. I know you know it’s not just another problem we have, because it’s like you’re really asking yourself what you really want to be or where you want to be in the future and end up more of rather vague questions than answers.

About the “goal” thing, I know for a fact that not all law students at present really have anything such as a “goal” in their law studies. Many just stay in law school to kill time and end up performing some other endeavors. Many don’t even finish the course. Many are just pressured by their parents. Many just want to continue with having licit monetary support after college. Many think it’s just cool to take law. Many think taking law is the ultimate move to heighten their educational attainments. Many stay stationary knowing all the while they’re not going to stay long. A few only do it on purpose; a goal akin to a priest’s calling.
But whatever these law students have in mind, one thing is quite sure, that time isn’t getting tired of running and that our future (you, me and them) is getting nearer and nearer. Our future, the time when we will have to decide what to do, what to buy, where to go and how to spend our hard-earned pays on our own and without dictates from our parents.

What is your goal in taking up nursing anyway? I can’t think of any goal for that matter because I haven’t considered putting myself in a nurse’s shoes. But for law school, a goal of giving dignity to your family because they have a lawyer in the family is more than enough.

Well, nursing is cool; law school sucks. Law school is noble; nursing is practical. Lawyers have jobs wherever they may go; nurses need to have some hospitals to be employed. There are many differences pro and con to either profession. Sometimes we just wish destiny would care to say something at this very moment when we still have a choice what career should we pursue.

It’s quite hard to explain what I want to say. I just want you to think that it’s not about having a good job as what others say. It’s not that others excel in their fields that you will be like them in the very near future. Our decisions should not be based mainly upon what others have experienced. Yes it’s somehow compelling and inspiring to take their encouragements but ultimately it’s your life and it’s your choice.

Personally, I don’t do things because others have already tried the process and succeeded. Life isn’t just about success. Because success is a very material concept. What I consider personally is the joy of living. It’s the love of work or profession. It’s something innate to our personality. A person may be successful to some but considered desperate by many. It’s very relative, short of saying very prone to double-standard branding. When the time comes that you are ready to make a choice between nursing and law, just stop thinking about what others have said. Just think of whether or not you love yourself to work as a nurse or lawyer.

Stop thinking about money for one second. A good lawyer makes good money same as a good nurse earns good pay. I mean who knows you’ll be able to make it abroad? Or who knows if you will even pass the board or the bar exams? Even nurses have their downsides, lawyers have their downsides too. Bear in mind that not only you competes for the ultimate dream of having enough money inside their pockets. The higher money you’re thinking, the higher disappointment you should be expecting. All these time when we can just be living normally. How many are you in the Philippines wishing to be earning dollars however feasible the offer is? I bet you’ve seen A Beautiful Mind? That’s the thought that made John Nash a Nobel Prize awardee in Economics right?

If I am to choose, I will choose the option which will give me lesser regrets and lesser disappointments. Lesser regrets because I really intended to act on my decision in the first place. Lesser disappointments because I am happy to act upon my decision whatever result it will arrive at, favorable or unfavorable. Being happy because I was given the chance to decide and act upon it today, not necessarily the results because nobody controls his or her future. It’s just the present we can enjoy and save the remainder of the day for tomorrow.

Ask yourself which between the two options will make you happy? That may be funny but that’s the point I’m trying to explain. It’s the surest way to achieve contentment and the love of work. Because we can never vouch all our achievements to come like a box of chocolates right? When we ever fail, it would be easier stand up again if we love what we are doing. If we care about what we are endeavoring to achieve, we won’t mind the fall that much and we will not be easily distracted. If we don’t care about what we are pursuing, one fall is enough to make us change our mind and forget everything we have started in the first place. Loving one’s work is making ourselves equipped against distractions and the cruel tests of destiny.

Who knows you will be a successful lawyer someday? Who knows you will be working in one of the state hospitals of London someday? Who knows? Nobody. If nursing is a good option because of money, I wish you’d think again. Try to give yourself a better reason. Try to add something like you want to be a nurse because you want to help the doctors heal the sick. Try to add something to make the effort worth priceless. Something money cannot substantiate. Something you can be proud of without having to count the dimes for each and every story.

I hope I made myself clear. I know at least you’re getting the idea. Make the story of your life worth telling by starting to make firm decisions based on virtues. I would hate to know it’s mainly just for money’s sake. I would hate to know it depended on one person such as your ex-bf. If it’s all wrong then try making amends now. But don’t forget the virtues you think are worth your dignity as a person. You are more than the whole of New York Stocks Exchange. You don’t need to prove that. Sometimes we want to prove something without realizing that we are actually disproving ourselves to persons who love us.

If you love the idea of going to London and pursue nursing and make yourself comfortable with the feeling that you have achieved a higher level of growth, then that’s a good start. However, if you love the idea of staying here in the Philippines and helping the victims of injustice get their share of fairness, bring honor to your family, and in your little way contribute to uplift this land’s beleaguered spirit, then that’s a good goal too. Which is which, that’s your very own choice. I know you’re a strong person who can absorb challenges as they make waves. And whatever your decision is, I believe it will be a decision worth the virtues you cherish the most. Either way, I’ll just be around somewhere in one corner of the Earth.

February 15, 2005
Sampaloc, Manila


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