When I grow up Thursday June 16, 2005, 4 comments
If you were to ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, what would they say?
Doctor, lawyer, fireman, astronaut, president, graphic designer, rock star, they will most likely answer. Some profession or other. Some might want to do the same as their parents. Be forest rangers, or soldiers, or police officers.
How come nobody ever answers “When I grow up, I want to be happy.” Isn’t that the first and most appropriate answer? It would be, if we weren’t so intent on teaching our children the wrong lessons.
We condition our children, from a brutally young age, to believe that happiness means material things. Toys, clothes, jewelry. We don’t teach them that happiness comes from inside and that all that other stuff is, at best fluff and at worst an anchor dragging us down. We don’t teach them that the more we have, the more we need.
How much misery can you hide in the trunk of of an expensive BMW? How much unhappiness can be tucked out of sight behind a big-screen television?
How much money do you have to make to be happy?
Very good point, and one I’ve heard before… However, prior to my son being born, it’s good to be reminded of my job in educating my little boy on where happiness lies… I’ve told others how I don’t care what he becomes – whether it be a doctor or teacher – but hope I can educate him on the proper use of savings, responsibility with money, and not going into debt (something they don’t teach you in school)... You’d think, with all the problems caused by improper use of funds (national debt, personal debt, corporate debt) the schools would focus on this subject a wee bit more. Yet, many have no clue until it’s too late. “Money may not bring a happy life, but being in debt certainly will bring about stress and strife.” (©2005 Thomas Michaud)
Perhaps the best way to teach them the importance of happiness is to value it properly in our own lives?
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Given how much volume is in a BMW 740i trunk, I would say a lot.
Seriously, when I was a kid, I always wanted to help people when I grew up.
I never really had a profession in mind (other than superhero) that I could really name. When pressured to give an “actual” answer from teachers, I would just make up something, or mimic someone else’s answer from my class.
I think, too, that happiness is somewhat forced in our world. People are expected to be happy all the time, which leads to hidden rage.
Why not just aim for contentment. Then, on those days when you’re happy, you’ll feel ecstatic. On the days when you’re sad, it won’t be so hard to climb back up again.
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