So today I was hanging out with theseÂ four junior high school kids.Â Which isn’t really something I normally do, but sometimes when you find yourself in an odd situation that happens every once in a while, you can use this opportunity to learn something new that maybe you’d forgotten about. Like sometimes when you get older, you sort of forget what it’s like to be a kid, so when you talk to them, they seem to have a fresh and new perspective on things, until you realize that they are really looking at the world through eyes that you’d had before, and you’d neglected to look through for too long of a while.
So I was asking these kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. One kid said she wanted to be a nurse. Ok, sounds good.Â A job where you canÂ help people, work in a hospital, wear a cool uniform. The next kid said he wanted to be a teacher. So far, so good. Help out kids to learn about life, help them toÂ discover new things everyday. Next kid said he wanted to be a professional soccer player. Now we’re talking.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional baseball player. That was before you learned that you sort of had to be good at what you want to be when you grow up. Because I wasn’t all that great in baseball. In fact, when I was as old as these kids, I didn’t even make the junior high school team. Before you feel sympathy, realize that I was kind of relieved, because by that time, I’d learned that the baseball team was always the last to go home everyday.
Kind of strange how that works out. You develop these big dreams, then you sometimes realize that your dreams aren’t really based on anything other than a wish. You sort of make your goals based on what you see on TV, which really is just a bunch of imaginary stuff when you think about it. Not that watching baseball on TV is imaginary. It’s just that they only show the fun part, or at least what they think that you’ll think is the fun part. Who wants to watch the part where they stretch and practice and line the field? Unless you really enjoy that, which I guess professional baseball players do, which is why they are professionals, and I didn’t make the junior high school baseball team.
But as you go through life and learn new things, you start to really get a taste for what it is you want to spend your time doing something rewarding, right? I don’t suppose you could be a professional singer unless you really enjoyed band practice.
The thing that struck me the most, is that you can develop a realistic view of life as you grow and learn and experience, and still retainÂ your youthful expectation that you always have the possibility ofÂ being able to becomeÂ something greater than you are. I mean, who wants to stay a junior high school student your whole life?
And the fourth kid said that he wanted to be a taxi driver, which is actually my favorite answer of them all. Because instead of saying something that he thought other peopleÂ might approve of, he said something he thought would be really cool, for whatever reason it was.Â And when you can combineÂ your youthful expectation of greatness with saying what’s really on your mind, you got yourself a winning combination.Â