Be a Useful 21-Year Old

James Walpole/ May 1, 2020

Today I met a 21 year-old who was spending his day working and building alongside two experienced carpenters. We sat down together for lunch, and I got to know his story a bit.

His background? Working for a landscaping company. No fancy degrees or fancy pedigree as far as I would guess.

When I asked his hobbies, he shared two: welding, and working on his tiny home.

I’m sorry, but do you know many 21-year olds who have enough knowledge to build their own homes? Enough wisdom to apprentice under two craftsmen? Enough industriousness to enjoy welding stuff *for fun*?

This kid has his shit together. He is learning great skills, doing good work, and actually building things. He’s useful on so many fronts.

The world would tell him that he should be in college, or working a “prestigious” white collar job. The world would tell him that he needs t be spending money to impress other 20-somethings, going to out to clubs, etc.

The world is idiotic, and never seems more so than when compared to a 21-year old like this one.

This is someone who has prioritized building a life over moving into a life built by others. He may have a more strenuous path, but he will be stronger and trust his own strength more as a result. May God grant that I can learn from this younger man as I chart my own path forward. To be useful is a blessing and a good way to live.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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