“Lisa, I know you love Art, but you will never be able to make a living with an Art Degree. Find a more marketable degree …you can always Paint or Draw or Sculpt on the side”
“Music!? Do you know how many bands or artists there are struggling to be famous and never make it!? You need to be able to support yourself. You need a “back-up” plan. You can always play music, but it won’t pay the bills.”
“I know you want to be writer dear, but it’s a hard area to break into. There are thousands of people who dream of being J.K. Rowling but she is one of the lucky ones. Why not try Marketing?”
Why do we kill the dreams and aspirations of our children just as they are about to blossom; like trimming a Rose bush as it’s about to bloom.
We don’t do it on purpose of course, we’ve just forgotten the importance of Dreams. Not all of us mind you, but too many. Far too many.
It wasn’t always this way though. I’m sure many of you can recall a time in High School, maybe during a 4th period World History class, where you sat staring out of a tiny classroom window, day-dreaming about how you just knew you were destined for something great. That you were different, special. Nothing was going to stop you. You were invincible. Even on graduation day, as you sat with your fellow classmates anticipating the moment when you could slide that strange, stringy-thing from left to right, you could feel the energy and excitement as a new chapter in your life was about to begin. It was an amazing time.
We knew how to Dream then.
But then at some point, we had to decide. What do I do with my life? What do I want to be (when I grow up)? So we stressed and thought about our options (some of us more than others). We stressed about our parents reaction to whatever decision we made. We stressed about our reaction to our parent’s reaction. It was all very stressful.
Our parents advised us on the harsh and unforgiving nature of the world. On the importance of choosing a path that will help you get a “good” job. A stable job. Perhaps even a respectable career. This is all good advice, of course. Every parent wants the best for their Children. But the advice is biased.
It’s biased because parents have mortgages, cars, responsibilities and social status. And as parents we have known the sting of rejection and wish to shield our children from that pain. But as parents, we need to remember that our children are not encumbered by those same trappings. They have no mortgages and any car they might have, well, it’s probably not much to talk about anyway. And at this stage in their life, unless your children have children of their own, they have no serious responsibilities and virtually no social status. The point is, they are free. Free to choose a path less traveled. Free to follow their Dreams.
And that’s when it happened. Not for to all us, but far too many.
We heeded the advice of others at the expense of our Dreams. The world was just too scary, too unpredictable, too unstable. So we played it safe. We did what was expected. We were responsible. We forgot the importance of Dreams.
Something is missing now. You feel it. The little voice in your head. The remnants of a Dream you once had. It’s the price of taking the path most often traveled; you start to lose a bit of your spark. That part of you that makes you interesting, unique, inspiring. Alive. As you move toward the practical, the expected, the norm, you move further away from what makes you, you. You exist, but you don’t LIVE, at least not in the way you were meant to.
Sure, life turned out ok. You have a good job, provide for your family, and take vacations. Things worked out just as Mom and Dad said it would. But along the way we forgot how to Dream.
Now we are older and “wiser”. We have our own biases and trappings. Now our Children are looking to us for advice. Don’t trim the Rose bush.