Friday, March 20, 2009


So many times when I was young I heard that I could be anything I wanted to be.

“There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It's easy. All you need is love.”

I'll NEVER have these brains.

Or this body

Or this talent---ever.

No matter how long I wait---

"For the promises our teachers gave
If we worked hard
If we behaved...

Every child had a pretty good shot
To get at least as far has his old man got."

And here are the tickets we were given to get there.

"You can be anything you want to be! Even President of the United States." Hmmmmm.

Maybe we should rethink our teaching. Maybe if kids learned early to set realistic goals, but write them in pencil; to use their abilities and control their desires; maybe, maybe so many would not think spending, instead of saving, is the way out.
photos from Google Images


Woman in a Window said...

Huuummmm, this is interesting. I'm going to have to think about this one. I'm not sure one necessarily relates to the other. Necessarily, but does perhaps in a way.

I was never told I could be anything. I always assumed nothing, while growing up, and then I started to dream. Still dreaming. Now I tell my children, they can be anything. I don't want them to wait to dream. And so my daughter dreams of being an artist farmer. And why not? And my son, well he just gets lost in the dream. They're not dreaming of stuff or being a person with a certain name, but rather dreaming of the journey. I think this is good. I hope they hold onto it.

(And I know you don't exclude that from your post. I'm just glad for a think as I cross over your blog.)

Leenie said...

Yeah, can of worms. Not enough room anywhere to discuss this one.

The Weaver of Grass said...

You may well have a point there. I really don't know when it all started to go wrong. Somewhere - either gradually or suddenly - it became "the norm" to borrow however much it took to have everything you wanted - in my day you saved up for it and then bought it.
The real thing that people don't seem to understand is that happiness has very little to do with money - BUT - I think it has a lot to do with reaching one's potential - so not sure how I view your argument.

Jeannelle said...

Thought-provoking insights here, Leenie. I think, too, that education by school and parenting is off-track in many ways. Wish I knew what the answer was to make it all better. We live in such a materialistic culture, for one thing.

Anonymous said...

You know Leenie,this is my opinion for what it's worth.Children see the example set by parents, and it starts with the birthday parties, and all the toys. Parents feel compelled to compete, and I really feel this is childrens first taste of competition and "bigger is better".The first birthday dilemma is sometimes "healthy foods mean thumbs down for success"...saw it happen,pre-school noses screwed up.Kids live in mortal terror of "your party bags suck". Having an only child, everybody assumed she would be spoilt rotten. She wasn't,only having a few toys that she loved, never wanted any more, and coped with the disappointment of "you mean, this is it??" from toy-laden peers. It starts young. It starts with parents attitudes, and "me and my kids deserve nothing but the best and plenty of it". By the time students reach the Year 12 formal,(prom?)Australian parents from private schools are travelling to Italy or France for the dress. Hopefully, this economic recession will put an end to that one upmanship.! It's a choice to opt out, but too many are afraid to take it, and once they are locked in to the big-money trap, the fall is visibly embarrasing.Best not to have gone there in the first place.Parents also push what a child will and will not study. As both teachers and parents ourselves, we realize a student's happiness is paramount..."as long as you really love what you do" doesn't even enter into the equation with some families. In case I sound self-rightous, I don't have the answers. We helped our daughter through nursing studies as she opted for this, rejecting other more lucrative and exciting options because she said that's where she'd be happiest. She finished. She hates it. She's starting again.At least she's persuing the dream. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

God - did I really write that much? Whoops...'scuse the rant.

Leenie said... point exactly. And the overload of holiday gifts is a pet peeve.

BB said...

Oh I hear you on this one... mine are young and malleable (I hope!) but I strain against the excess already filling their lives. I dread the grad dresses that Pam refers to - we are faced with sending our children to boarding school when they are in high school (a distance thing) and I fear the lack of influence I can have from that point on...

Perhaps society is getting the massive boot in the pants it needs to see this void of greed that 'it' has created. We have created. I love the reference to 'writing our dreams in pencil'. Could not agree more. We all need to dream for the little stuff AND the big stuff ...

Debby said...

I believe that giving our children so much instills within them a sense of entitlement. They simply expect to have it all. Next thing you know, they are at the mercy of the credit card companies. The same ones that have been preying on them since they turned 18 and went off to college. Our young adults may have a problem, but you've got credit card companies who are in it for the profit, and don't care whose life is destroyed in their mad rush to profit.