Dreams, goals and reality
A smiling woman stands over a little boy in class as she straightens his white button-up shirt in preparation for class pictures. The boy gives a disapproving frown as she combs a hair out of his face. “So Johnny,” the woman begins, “What are you gonna be when you grow up?”
How in the hell do you answer that question at 8 years old? I mean, seriously. Our brains are wrapped around whether we’re going to get white milk or chocolate milk for lunch for Christ’s sake. Let alone what our distant future will hold. Are we, as a society, putting too much pressure on our youth to succeed?
Our hearts are in the right place, most certainly. But is it beneficial to the child, and us as a society, to place so much pressure on such a young mind? And who defines success? Is success a doctor, lawyer, engineer? Or maybe success is being a rockstar or actor or some other form of overpayed celebrity. But what about the success of simply being happy? What is happiness? While we’re searching for it in med school, is happiness passing us by?
I always wanted grand things for myself. In hind sight I have to ask, “Did I want THEM or did I simply want to be happy?” That is my rant today. WHO defines happiness?
I was talking to a friend one day about goals, dreams and the like. And I’ve been around them long enough to get a pretty decent understanding of what they are and are not capable of. They have big dreams, but small motivation. And as a friend, I felt compelled to be honest and say, “Why not keep your goals attainable?” I might have just told them they were ugly. The look of disbelief was astounding. Had I just shot down their dreams?
You can see this sort of false motivation all over the place. You have it in the media with shows like Oprah, Dr. Phil, The View, etc. In movies, books, magazines, you name it. All these places are telling you to let nothing stand in your way. Aim high. Shoot for the stars.
But where are the people telling gimpy Johnny that he’ll never be a basketball star? Where are the people telling ugly betty that she’ll never be a model? And where are the people to tell retard Fred that he’s simply not smart enough to be an engineer? We push people and push people. We fill them up with hopes and dreams of being greater than they are today to only have them fail miserably. Then back to being a dishwasher at Denny’s they go.
I’m not saying that these people are failures. I’m simply saying that instead of retard Fred signing up for college to be an engineer and then failing all of the difficult classes, why not start out as a mechanic or a welder. Then, when he succeeds, see where you can go from there. If he so chooses to advance further.
Reality is something that I am thankfull for. I always keep those “what if’s” in the back of my mind, as fantasy. But I don’t build myself up to the point of no return and then hit depression when I fall. I make small goals that MAY lead to bigger goals over time. That’s what I’m talking about.
So stop telling yourself and other people that you can be whatever you want to be as long as you put your mind to it. Because guess what, it doesn’t work that way. Try encouraging people to try new things, and be there for them as friends. But also, keep them level headed. It’s much easier to catch a falling person when their on the ground and not with their head in the cloud.