Be & Do
My three sons have had many dreams for their lives over the tender years. I’ve heard the expression, “I’m going to be,” followed by: a professional baseball player, a quarterback, a paid street skater, a lawyer, an Olympian, a veterinarian, a YouTube-er and some I can’t remember. Oh, the winner of American Idol, was a big one for a while, times three!
Interestingly, I’ve heard it said that rather than asking, “what do you want to be,” a better idea is to pay attention to who our kids already are. As much as we want to provide inspiration, if we don’t apprehend their make up, we could end up providing false hope.
No good parent wants to dash the dreams of a young heart and I don’t recommend that either! On the other hand, reality bites at times, so we need to prepare them a bit, don’t we?
I always felt bad for the kids who tried out for American Idol yet had voices that were more likely to cause ear strain than anything else. I have wondered if they were sold the “you can be whatever you want,” pipe dream.
The reality is we are not all equal in gifts and talents. Anyone can work hard and have much success, but not everything is in the cards for everyone.
My favorite part about humanity is our absolute uniqueness. I heard a joke one time that said, “we are all unique so no one is really special!” Nah, everyone is special. A fine line to jump in parenting, is the necessity of teaching them the basics of life without losing the view of their particular bents. Not talking about gifts and talents here, but interior make up. The particular way they experience the world around them. What tires them out and what lifts them up. How their minds turn and what their hearts beat for.
Not just parenting, but friendship is another place to remember our different temperaments.
I try to be an encouraging person in general, but I get weary of the rat race mentality. The one that says, “work harder, be tougher, make more money.” I’m told to conquer, hustle, attract, dream, seize my destiny, climb the ladder of success! Just spelling it out makes me tired.
Believe it or not, some of us really want to live a peaceful and quiet life. To have our basic needs met for connection and purpose without all those other demands. Having fame? Not interested. Fortune? Ugh, more crap to deal with. Enough to pay the bills and help friends in need would be awesome. Busyness? No. Time? Yes! Time to connect with and appreciate others.
If hustle and bustle leads some to genuine soul satisfaction, more power to them. And if that path leaves room “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly,” even better. It just doesn’t work for all of us. Let’s help each other be free to answer the questions for ourselves as to who we were created to be, not just what we want to do. I’ll try to show more appreciation for the kick-ass hustlers and bustlers. And you guys can be mindful that most days your low-key gypsy-hearted buddies are much more inclined to take a nap than climb any ladders.