Archive for August, 2013

You can do Anything!

I am becoming increasingly concerned about a pervasive American myth we keep telling our kids:   “You can be anything you want to be!”  I know as a parent we do not ever want to dampen our children’s interest or enthusiasm, and of course, we want desperately for them to be successful and happy.  However, telling them this alone sends the wrong message.   I do not disagree with the notion that they ought to pursue those things they are interested and passionate about, but we ought to be encouraging them to listen too.  Listen and look at the messages and signs that manifest themselves from the world outside and their soul inside.

ImageI can point to both priests and doctors who have pursued these vocations and found themselves too far down a road to turn back.  Who knows what events led them down this road, but it is clear from the lives they now endure that the life they have is not at all what they were expecting.   No need to mention the danger that lurks in the work of an unfulfilled priest or doctor…

Is it good to tell your kids “you can be anything you want to be”?  Sure, only if you are willing to follow it up with a challenge: answer for yourself (not for anybody else) why you want to be or do a particular thing and then look honestly and critically at your answer.

If you are honest and brave you can relate to them how you arrived at your career and life stage and how that is working for you.  Now that is a conversation I’d pay five bucks to attend!


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Dan Clark

Dan Clark

Principal of Bowline Consulting, process designer/fixer, wireless telecom veteran, addicted pick up soccer player, fly fisher, backpacker, beer brewer, guitar player, choir singer, recovering bag piper

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