How often do you hear stories of parents wanting their children to follow in their footsteps, in the family firm, on the family farm? When nine times out of ten if they were able to be really honest that’s the last thing they would want to do, but then if they are like me, where I was dominated by the hierarchy of the tribe maybe they felt like I did, that I had to conform to the wisdom of my betters!
In my case this meant that the head of the family was not the weak old man, my Granfer who I loved, the young men had gone off to fight the second great war and those that weren’t killed came back scarred and shattered if not physically then certainly mentally.
I remember the guy who kept the sweet and tobacconist shop. He had been a fighter pilot, got shot down, badly burnt so lost the ends of all his fingers and most of his face leaving only horrendous scars, but insisted on picking up the pennies we paid for our toffees and refused all help!
No. The purpose of this is just to illustrate that I was brought up in a strict matriarchal society where the words of the she wolves were law. At wars end I was five and by fifteen with a bent towards Physics and Art I wanted to become a Naval Constructor, you know, designing ships.
But the Akelae decided I was not original enough and certainly not as a commercial artist and as I struggled with Calculus I could not become an Architect! Having saved my pocket money matched by the Grand Parents I got a racing bike, but when it came to buying a car at 17, I was told ‘No!’ It would be a source of trouble, and certainly not a motorbike as that would be a death trap. I went away to college and bought a Moped!
Well I became an Electrical Engineer and got on quite well with Calculus! I followed that with Chef, then Training Manager and retired as a Health and Safety Manager. The question I have to ask myself is: ‘Am I still searching for my forte?’ …
One word of advice to all parents: Please let your kids try anything and everything they want and let them decide on the job they want to do that they believe is going to make them happy. If it doesn’t turn out the way they wanted, don’t say ‘I told you so? back them up again with whatever they want to try next. You see, it is the trying that counts, it’s the seeking and desiring, and desiring that will draw to them more of the same in their seeking and desiring for happiness.
As Abraham said:
When a child has a dream and a parent says, “It’s not financially feasible; you can’t make a living at that; don’t do it,” we say to the child, run away from home … You must follow your dream. You will never be joyful if you don’t. Your dream may change, but you’ve got to stay after your dreams. You have to.
We would follow this by saying to a child of whatever age eight, eighteen or eighty – follow your dreams! Dreams are not only valid but necessary at every age and necessary to be fulfilled.
With love, David