what do you want to be when you grow up?
We must have been asked that question a number of times, at various stages of our growth. My earliest reply to that (that I can remember) is a soldier. What with all the Rambo and Commando movies I grew up on, that was the only logical career for a young 5 or 6 year old 'action movie junkie'. I just had to be a soldier, it wasn't up for debate, as I practiced shooting with my arsenal of toy guns. From the water spraying guns, to the ones with sticky darts propelled out at the pull of the trigger, from the star wars looking ones, to those that glow and sound like an AK-47 sub. Those were the days,.....the days of unbridled dreams, and innocent aspirations. lol, I know innocence and being a soldier shooting people down, shouldn't go in the same sentence, but that's because you reading this and spotting that out,.....you & I are adults. But if a kid reads this, he would jump with glee at the dream of being a soldier, of being like his on-screen heroes. A child with a normal upbringing (which some aren't lucky to have, as children as young as 3 in Syria, now know the meaning of death first hand), doesn't know the meaning of death or it's implications, they see life in all its beauty, as a large playground where there are no boundaries to what you can be and what you can do, and there is no need to harm anyone in the process of achieving your goals. How about the primary school bullies, you may ask? The proportion of bullies to every other child in primary schools, is very much in the minority, and its driven more out of want for more snacks than criminality, how many 8 year old bullies have you asked the question; "what do you want to become when you grow up?" and he answers: "a serial killer or a terrorist, or a rapist".
Now forward to this present day, and compare what we have become to what we had wanted to be as 6 year olds. I would guess about 90% of us turned out to be in careers far fetched from what we wanted to be, for a variety of reasons. Some would have innocently answered as kids, "I want to be the president" or "I want to be an astronaut" or "I want to be a musician" or "I want to be a chocolate factory owner", but with age, we considered most of those 'unrealistic'. But are they truly unrealistic? The older we grow, the more we tend to but boundaries on our aspirations, and question what and what we can / cannot do. We put ourselves on courses that veer off from what we first of all, fell in love with. Sadly many of us are in careers we don't truly love, and some are involved in acts that society frowns upon. Its quick to turn around and blame everyone else, "oh my parents weren't there for me", or "I had no other option". I'm not trying to be judgmental, because it's not in my place to judge anyone, but I'm saying, there is never just one option. To every situation, there are at least 2. If for some reason you that had a dream as a child of being a doctor, and you ended up being an armed robber, or a drug dealer or a terrorist, stop and think about where it all went wrong. Your actions and present career, how does it affect people around you, the people you come face to face with in your daily business, how those it affect your 'clients'? Rewind to how you were as a child, & with such eyes, would you be proud to have a father that does what you do now? Everyone of us was born innocent, but with our various paths, we might have chosen to do good or be bad. As crazy as it sounds, the terrorists of today, were once members of a play group, at school or within a community. Is it too late to change? No, No Time Is Too Late, the best time to get something done is now. Granted, for a 50 year old semi literate armed robber to drop armed robbery and return to his childhood dream of being a doctor isn't exactly the most feasible of career changes, but for a 50 year old armed robber to leave the criminal life, and become (for example) a farmer, or a grocery store owner, isn't so unachievable.
Forget about what others think, forget about what you think, but be most concerned with what the little you would think about who you have become today, and do what you can to make 'him' proud of you today, as well as supporting your children (and/or future children) to pursue their dreams.
Dreams are the only things that remind us we are alive, follow them and encourage the little ones to follow theirs