Box of ChocolatesIt has become abundantly clear to me over the past few years that life – through which we all must pass – is an ever-evolving puzzle and a genuine delight.

Image: Adam Collins via Flickr, CC 2.0

Good things come our way, sometimes unexpectedly; and not-so-good (I’m a PR guy; I can’t say “bad”!) things fall on us.

This has become particularly interesting to me in my now decade-long role of “head honcho” of the Curry College Communication Department’s undergraduate Public Relations Concentration. As I talk to more and more students who either are preparing to enter the workplace or have just taken their first tentative steps “out there,” I realize more and more the wonders that life holds for each and every one of us.

I’ve also seen this when I meet as a College of Fellows mentor with young professionals at PRSA’s International Conferences, something I’ve been doing for the past few years as part of my personal and professional commitment to the standards and ideals represented by the College.

No…I’m not going all evangelical on you, so stop hyperventilating!

It’s just that, each time I sit and chat with one of my current/former students or a young professional about his or her plans for the future, I see once again myself a gazillion years ago…unsure about where to go or what to do next.

And each decision I made… each “chocolate” I chose… resulted in different, sometimes delightful, sometimes bleaah, sensations.

But that’s what life should be about…little surprises that tempt, delight, challenge, and reward us for our endeavors.

Not all of us, though, are willing risk-takers. For every student who has been willing to step onto the tightrope blindfolded, there have been a herd of others who want every possible nook and cranny bathed in a bright light of understanding before making a move.

Some of them have done, as I would define it, “okay.”

The interesting thing for me is that these are the folks from whom I subsequently hear less and less often… they basically settle into the moss of comfortable existence and move on with their lives. Good for them! They’re satisfied. They’re employed.

The others, from whom I hear regularly, are digging into their chosen career field with eagerness and enthusiasm. And they’re asking the age-old question, “What’s next?”

The first “chocolate” that they tried was good. But life is an assortment of flavors and textures.

What, indeed, is “next”?

I assure them that the only way to find that answer is to try another. I also caution that you don’t want to “try” too many… you’ll get a stomach-ache!

To quote, as I so often do, Forrest Gump,

“Life [is] like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

So give it a try! Try new things. Test new pathways. Explore new opportunities. You never know what you’re gonna get!

Kirk Hazlett

Kirk Hazlett

Professor at Curry College
Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, holds the position of Associate Professor, Communication/ Public Relations, at Curry College. He also is a member of the Public Relations Society of America's Board of Ethics and Professional Standards. Kirk has 35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience, followed by nearly 10 years' undergraduate- and graduate-level college teaching experience. Some of the organizations he has counseled include the Blood Bank of Hawaii, Medical Area Service Corporation and Boston Harborfest. He blogs at A Professor's Thoughts.
Kirk Hazlett