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Life is pointless

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by sciencenerd, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. sciencenerd

    sciencenerd New Member

    What's the meaning of life? To follow your dreams? To help others? To explore the mysteries of the universe? It doesn't matter, really, because I can't do any of it.

    Everyone says I'm really smart. I got straight A's in high school. I took all advanced classes. I did really well on the SATs, got into MIT, did pretty well there (I'm currently a senior). All my family, all my friends, expect me to cure cancer and solve the energy crisis and end poverty. But, you see, I can't do any of that, or even do anything at all. You see, my parents aren't really smart, or really rich, or really powerful, or anything. They're just ordinary people. And that makes my life worthless, because history shows, time and time again, that those, and only those, with smart/rich parents are those who make discoveries, or help others, or achieve their dreams.

    Suppose I wanted to be a mathematician. I'm pretty good at math, after all, and I like it. But look at all the famous mathematicians. Georg Cantor- his father was a member of the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange. Terence Tao- his father is a doctor and his mother is a math teacher. Louis Cauchy- his father was an important official in the French government and eventually became Secretary-General of the Senate under Napoleon. Kurt Godel- his father was the manager of a textile factory. Paul Erdos- both of his parents were professional mathematicians. The list goes on and on and on- there is no room for me, with no family lineages at all, in mathematics.

    Suppose I wanted to be a physicist. I'm pretty good at physics, after all, and I like it. But look at all of the famous physicists. Albert Einstein- his father owned a large electric company, and won a contract from the city of Munich to light up the famous Oktoberfest. Ed Witten- his father was a theoretical physicist himself. Enrico Fermi- his father was another important government official. George Smoot- who I have had the honor of meeting in person- was the son of a hydrologist. Werner Heisenberg- his father was the only professor with his specialization in all of Germany. Stephen Hawking- he's the son of a research biologist. The list goes on and on and on- there is no room for me, with no family lineages at all, in physics.

    Suppose I wanted to be a programmer. I'm pretty good at programming, after all, and I like it. But look at all of the famous programmers. Bill Gates- his father was a name partner at one of the most prestigious law firms in the country, Preston, Gates & Ellis. Sergey Brin- son of a mathematics professor and a research scientist. Michael Dell- his parents were an orthodontist and a stockbroker, and his family loaned him half a million dollars to start his company. Pierre Omidyar- his father is a surgeon and his mother is a well-known academic. Mark Zuckerberg- his parents are both doctors. The list goes on and on and on- there is no room for me, with no family lineages at all, in programming.

    Suppose I wanted to be an economist. I'm pretty good at economics, after all, and I like it. But look of all the famous economists. Larry Summers- both of his parents were professors of economics at U. Penn. Ben Bernanke- his father is a pharmacist. John Maynard Keynes- his father was a lecturer at Cambridge University. Ludwig von Mises- his father was a member of the Austro-Hungarian nobility. John Nash- the son of an electrical engineer. The list goes on and on and on- there is no room for me, with no family lineages at all, in economics.

    So, then, what is the point of doing anything? I know that I'll fail miserably, no matter what I try, because apparently, no one without a long and proud family history has ever succeeded at anything in the entire history of man, and the odds are astronomically long that I'll be the first, out of the countless thousands who have already tried.
  2. Menchi

    Menchi Well-Known Member

    The first and most important thing i will say to you, is don't live by others expectations of you. When i was young, i made this mistake, and firstly, it puts too much pressure on you, and secondly, you have to make that choice, for yourself, what you want to do.

    Secondly, all those people you mentioned... their start in life could only take them so far. For each one of them which did get that better head start in life, and go on to achieve, there are tens of thousands who have started off in life that way, and ended up in mediocrity. And there are plenty of people who don't get that start in life, and still achieve, based on merit, rather than who they know, or how rich they are. It isn't as easy, i admit. I grew up not well of at all, father not able to work through injury and laziness, mother did her best... And the truth is, i could have done more to start off with, if i had that headstart in life. I'm not going to bullshit you on that, but that will only take you so far. What you have can take you much further, you have ability. It might be a longer road, but once you decide what you want to go for, and go for it, the only thing that will stop you, is what you are capable of. Particularly in the fields of mathematics and science, where ability and merit would always outweigh anything else.

    So my advice, stop worrying what others think you can achieve, and decide what you want to achieve, what you want to do, and focus on that. Realise that there are downsides, there are areas where others may have an advantage, but realise your own strengths, and use them. That is life, and you do have to fight to succeed, but fight on your own terms, for what you want, then go out there and take it. It will be hard, but if you don't try, you can't succeed.

    ODIECOM Well-Known Member

    very well put menchi, your sounding much better
  4. sciencenerd

    sciencenerd New Member

    That's a lie. There aren't. People who are successful without having had successful parents are like unicorns- they don't exist. The world is still ruled entirely by the nobility, just as it always has been.

    That's just not true. Look at this list of orphans, people who don't have successful parents. You see lots and lots of politicians and singers and actors and sports stars. But you don't see a single mathematician. Or a single physicist. Or a single computer scientist. Or a single economist. Or a single chemist. Or a single biologist. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

    I'm a technical person. There's no way I could go into politics or entertainment, I just don't like those fields and I'm no good at them anyway. I might as well just give up now. Why even bother to try?
  5. Reki

    Reki Well-Known Member

    Can't tell if you're being serious or not. Isaac Newton, probably the most famous physicist that ever lived, was born to a couple of farmers. His father died before he even knew him and his mother dropped him off at his grandmother's so she could go marry some other guy. His mom tried to teach him farming, he didn't like it.

    He went on to create the laws of forces and motion that we still teach in our schools today. I'd rank him above even Einstein as far as famous brilliant minds go. You can be pretty sure if he had looked at history and had come to the strange conclusion that the your parents' status decides your future, we wouldn't even know he existed. You got into MIT, you can't honestly believe what you wrote.
  6. Littlewiji

    Littlewiji Well-Known Member

    I'll just put it out there that einstien's father had at least two companies that went bust.

    But that doesn't matter. What matters is what YOU can do. MIT?
    Frick man, those 3 letters are the new spelling of genius. I don't care about your background, your a bloody genius, and you CAN make a difference.
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