A World Saved

Should I go to law school on a full-tuition scholarship? I used to say to myself that this is a no-brainer. Really, what do I have to lose? Law school opens so many doors, and a JD title sounds quite impressive --- especially back home in China. And I don’t even have to pay a dime! Isn’t it an idiot-proof option?

Or so I thought. And I was indeed a full idiot for thinking like that.

An hour ago, I realized that I have a lot to lose. In fact, I --- a property-less, almost-penniless young man --- have a whole world to lose! That world is a world of possibilities, a world that COULD BE. As a 21-year-old young man, the greatest cost in my life is the opportunity cost --- the cost of big dreams, of unlimited potential. And I will not trade them for anything else.

This is not an argument against law school, but an argument for following the heart. Over the past few months, I have been trying to convince myself to choose the law school path. But my heart has always known the right answer. Even my stomach knows it --- the thought of being in law school, of being required to do things for which I have no passion, makes my stomach hurt.

I have asked many people whether or not I should go to law school. Almost everyone said yes. Interestingly, those people who barely know me are the ones who immediately decided that I should go. “Because it is a useful degree,” they’d insist.

When semi-strangers all rush to that conclusion, it rings an alarm. If all stock analysts say “buy,” then I should certainly sell. Those who recommended law school to me would recommend it to just about anyone. But I do not intend to be “anyone.” I know who I am. Law school is not where my heart lies, and those legal skills are not what I need. I will hire a lawyer when I need one. There are plenty of good ones to go around. The world does not need one more lawyer. We need more crazy minds, fearless souls and entrepreneurial spirit. Which I’d be honored to provide.

An old little pamphlet ends with this, “the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.” Tonight, as a young “proletarian”, I realized that if I don’t follow my heart, I have a whole world to lose. Once lost, that world would never come back.

I am glad that I have saved that world --- a world not yet imagined, waiting to be born. Tonight, I celebrate its conception.