I listened to a high achiever ( don’t remember her name) talk to a audience of children recently. She told them that they could achieve anything they wanted just like she had done.
Is this right? Does it give expectation and hope to those who for whatever reason will never attain their goals.
What a sense of disappointment and failure when little Jonney works hard to be an astronaut only to find out that this is for the elite few and he is not one. Or Mary who wants to be a model like the beautifully digitised models she sees on social media. Mary is gorgeous but she’s not model material as you need to be 5ft 8 inches and Mary is nowhere near that.
But she has been given expectations that she can be whatever she wants and in this world where only a few actually achieve what they want to be is this false hope?
Why not be honest. Explain that we are all destined for different paths in our future. We should try to do our best, study, have an open mind and pursue your dream but with the realisation that you may not make it and that’s ok.
Most of us settle for a happy family, a decent job with a decent salary and even that is not always possible and that is life. That is not to say that some will attain that goal and achieve what they wanted to be.
No wonder we have depression and anxiety and suicide. Being told you can be anything you want to be and it doesn’t happen. The sense of failure, the self loathing.
We need to be careful when talking to our young people. I was sitting with my 17 year old granddaughter watching the piece on TV . ‘That’s rubbish ‘ she said. ‘Not everyone can be whatever they want to be’ So glad she is self aware!