When I grow up
Here’s an interesting question for you? Why is it that people ask children this question– What are you going to be when you grow up?
You’ve probably asked it too, dear reader. Hopefully you didn’t squeeze the kid’s cheek while asking it, on account kids hate that, but it’s one of those age-old questions.
I know I was asked that as a kid and I think my answer was pretty much standard too; a shrug of the shoulders. I didn’t know. Nor did I think about it much, frankly. Kids don’t really care. It’s like, leave me alone old person, I just want to go play. It’d be some kind of six year old who came back with something like, Well sir, when I come of age I will turn my mind, and completely devote myself, to becoming an otorhinolaryngologist, as I have a persnickety for such detailed work. Yourself?
The strange thing is, the older you get the less and less you are asked what you want to do. Isn’t that weird. In fact it becomes a total reversal, you’re told what to do.
When you’re a little kid, when you wouldn’t know the difference between a zucchini and a cucumber they want to know your sophisticated and worldly views as pertaining to future vocational and professional aspirations, then, as you get older, and actually need to decide, it’s like, Hey, do your best kid. Whatever. Or with some parents it’s the other extreme, You’ll be a doctor, or a lawyer. They make good money. No debate will be entered into. What? Something wrong with your eyes? They are like, rolling … in different directions.
Nothing wrong with offering your kids advice. Guiding them. It’s all part of being a good parent. But almost forcing them into something? Not great. Many a young person has ended up doing nothing in particular as a result of fighting the parents and their wishes. I know one in particular. One of the brightest people in the State of NSW, parents pushed for lawyer, he didn’t want to be a lawyer. He’s happily driving trains.
Some kids are funny too. They do have a response. Kid wants to be a lion tamer. Now there’s a bit of dilemma right there. I mean open the job vacancy section of the Saturday paper and I’ll bet you a buck there aren’t many lion tamers wanted. Or dolphin trainers, for that matter. I don’t think lions and dolphins want to be trained.
Best thing … let kids be kids. They will decide soon enough. And if their wants seem a little out there, leave them alone. They will grow out of it, or, actually become it.
Can you imagine someone telling Russell Crowe he wouldn’t make it as an actor? Pat Rafter that he should be a doctor instead of a world-class tennis player? Or Lionel Rose to stop messing around in the boxing ring and get a real job? The world would have been the poorer.
When you see and speak with someone that is doing ‘their thing,’ you can’t help but admire them. And it isn’t about accolades, it’s about doing what one was born to do. You can tell when a person is at one with what they are doing. You can just tell.
As for why people ask kids that question?
I believe it’s because they feel they have missed that train themselves.