I remember listening to Robert Fulghum at a Rotary International conference in Portland Oregon in 1990. Prior to this conference I had never heard of him. He had a simple delivery of common sense that made you realize that common sense isn’t that common at all!
He relayed the story of asking a 5-year-old girl what she wanted to be when she grew up. The girl said, “a dancer”, and performed a pirouette for him. There were no boundaries to her ambition at that age. But ask that girl the same question when in college and the reply was different. “Oh no, I couldn’t be a dancer!”
Between the aged of 5 and 18, parents, teachers, and peers, have all messed with the boundaries of what she could do. They took away the passion.
We don’t mean to, but we limit what our children can do through our own views and opinions. The environment our children grow up in, whether at school, home, or at play, sets the stage for what they perceive to be the limits of their development. We have come a long way from ‘girls can only be secretaries’, but we still have a long way to go!
Our grandchildren will be doing jobs that don’t even exist today. Their opportunities are endless so we need to be positive in our conversations with them. In my experience working with the unemployed, it was sad to see the number of 40-year-old people who had regrets for not following their passion. Most did not because of the pressure of others at the time. Now for many it was seen as too late as they had debts and family to consider.
Open the doors for the young, don’t put obstacles that don’t exist in their way. Let them realize their passion!
“The best advice I could give anyone is to spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life” Richard Branson
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