“What will you be when you grow up?”
A question we all have been asked and we continue the ritual of tormenting children by asking them this question year of year as if hazing them.
I was asked and I answered now you shall be asked and you shall oblige. At this moment a child will give you one of the following top ten answers approved by her/his parents. I will get a management degree, I will be a doctor, I will be an engineer blah blah blah. Bottomline these are the professions of winners and I will be a SUCCESS!!
During one of my recent workshops I asked a bunch of 13 year olds this questions and I got the above mentioned answers. I said to them, well of course you will and you should be a success, but what is being successful mean these days. If you ask the same kid this followup question this is the most likely answer – ” Big house, big car, foreign trips, money in the bank. BOOM!! ” so I asked them this – what if noone was telling you that this is the way to success that you can make your own rules, push the envelope a bit and experience new careers like being a chef, or a writer, or a dancer and that you would be a success there too would you consider any one of these professions now? ”
“When I told them what if you could be anything you want , anything at all.. over the next 10 years. You could choose to be anyone at all no matter how bizarre who would you be now?”
The answers my friends would astound you! I no longer had doctors and management consultants in my midst. I was surrounded by poets and artists.
Are we teaching our children to crush their dreams at the tender age of 13? Are we telling them they can not and should not pursue them ? And what are we teaching them about success? SUCCESS = MONEY ! What happened to happiness? kindness? compassion and the satisfaction that one receives from being kind and compassionate ? are we talking to our children about these concepts? Do we even have a moral science class in schools? I remember we had one when we were kids and in some little way it did teach us basic life skills towards being a GOOD HUMAN BEING. Yes please note i said GOOD not SUCCESSFUL.
We need to ask ourselves how we are raising our future generations. Are we just creating unhappy, therapy seeking, over achievers or are we willing to invest the time and effort it takes to make sure our children are happy fulfilled individuals with dreams and education with a purpose that fulfils and enriches them.
Education is very important, it is fact the single most important skill we can impart to our future generations. But what education are we giving them? Teaching them that they cannot be happy unless they carry all the prescribed societal marks of success cannot be right. Our children are our reflection. Its time we work towards GOOD AND HAPPY instead of RICH AND SUCCESSFUL. Good and Happy people will always find their success and riches but I wonder if Rich and Successful people are always happy..
Something to ponder over
So Be It!