March 28, 2013

If You Believe It, You Can Be It (as Long as What You Believe Is Reasonable for You and Your Circumstances)

[Here's another one from the drafts file. After I wrote it, I thought, "I'll bet someone else has already done this, and better." So I was going to look around and find out. Then I lost the energy for that. Then I thought, "If I had to check everything I wrote to see if someone else had already said it, I'd never hit publish on ANYTHING, because EVERYTHING has already been said." So here it is.]

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I am thinking of writing a new series of more realistic children's books:

- If You Can Dream It, You Are Among Many Others Dreaming the Same Thing, and Only a Few of You Will Do It So It Would Be Sensible to Have a Backup Plan, Maybe Something Like Business or Computers

- The Little Engine Who Could, Because Luckily His Design and Physical Components Met Those Specifications

- The Little Engine Who Couldn't, Because Despite His Constant Repetitions of "I Think I Can," It Turned Out Those Words Were Not Some Sort Magical Spell Capable of Overriding His Design and Physical Components

- You Can Be Anything You Have Been Born and Trained and Motivated and Had the Opportunity to Be!

- SOMEONE Has to Do the Jobs That Are Less Fun, Rich, and Glamorous, and I Don't See Any Reason It Shouldn't Be You

- All That Talk About Everyone Being Special and Unique and Bound for Greatness Can Be Filed With the Whole Santa Claus Thing. Oh, Oops, Didn't I Tell You About Santa Claus Yet?

- In This Economy, I'd Keep in Mind That We Always Need People Who Work With Pain and Death

- You are Not the Only One Dreaming of Being a Singer, an Author, or an Astronaut

- Believing and Dreaming Don't Actually Do Anything, So Get Good Grades and Maybe Take Some Extracurriculars

- What, Do You Think People DREAM of Some of These Other Jobs?

21 comments:

Christy said...

This reminds me of a friend who is former Army, making fun of those Army "Be All You Can Be" commercials. You know, the ones with recruits hanging out in helicopters and playing war games on computers that take up the whole wall, etc. He was pointing at each person shown, going, "Officer, officer, officer. If YOU enlist, you will be cleaning these people's toilets."

Amanda said...

You got a genuine smile from me!

Lyndsey said...

Love it!

Diary of Why said...

Love this. I've often thought about this, and have blogged about it, though not in such a clever way. More in the context of "Things I wish I had known when I was younger: Forget you can be anything. You can be maybe two things. Just pick one and get on with it." Would have saved me a lot of grief.

Lauren said...

S,

Brilliant. Never hesitate b/c you think someone else did it better. I highly doubt that would ever be true.

Here's another one: (pretend title is in italics) A Light In The Attic: The First Sign That Daddy Has A Late-Night Secret That Mommy Will Soon Uncover Causing A Bout of Turbulence And Trial Separation

P.S. -- I wrote about my kids making fun of me today. It involves bed head and an ugly robe. Check it out.

Susan said...

Very refreshing and encouraging. Thank you! Why oh why was this post almost lost forever to the "drafts" pile? Keep looking!

Lisa said...

I told my teenaged son #5 just yesterday! "You know why your job is shitty? [he works at WalMart] Because that's the jobs teenagers do! Shitty ones! So you'll be motivated to train or learn to do the jobs that are non-shitty!"

Erica said...

Ha ha thank you. Yes.

momofthree said...

Lisa definitely has a point. My first job (age 14) was cleaning rooms in a nursing home.

I don't think our current culture is helping very much. One one hand there's the whole celebrity without a cause culture colliding with a scarcity model of "the whole world is outpacing us!" It's two wild extremes that aren't very helpful or coherent.

One is causing kids to think cars and fame are going to materialize because of their inherent awesomeness while the other puts entirely too much pressure on every grade and extracurricular activity.

I think praising kids for their effort and perseverance instead of their intelligence is one step in the right direction. Also helping them to find something they have a genuine interest in, not just following the money.

Stimey said...

You are a funny lady.

Robin said...

This is fantastic. I'm compiling a list of things my kids can't be in life and can't major in when they go to college. I'm adding this list to it!

Lawyerish said...

I LOVE this post. No one could have done it better than this.

"You Can Be Anything You Have Been Born and Trained and Motivated and Had the Opportunity to Be!" -- hahaha! Yes. I am going to use that one for my daughter.

I am just SO TIRED of the "follow your bliss!" mentality and I hope that particular tide ebbs very soon and turns to the practical slogans you preach. Life is not all rainbows and unicorns. God.

Daycare Girl said...

My answer is yes, sort of, but yours are MUCH better. Some years ago Dave Letterman did a top ten list of rejected children's book titles. They were more along the lines of "The Care Bears Maul Some Campers and Are Shot Dead by the Park Ranger". Yours actually made me laugh out loud and want to repost.

Gwen said...

I love this list, so funny! Thanks for sharing.

Kelly said...

I would buy these..mostly for my students (college). I tell my daughter - you can be anything you want to be when you grow up as long as you can pay your own bills.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Yes, I would absolutely buy these books. And I know some adults that ought to read them.

Susie said...

Swistle, I desperately need this to be a box set of actual books that I can keep in my house in a prominent location.

Sarah said...

I LOVE THIS. x1000. I can't believe this was in drafts!

Jenny said...

I was going to try to explain how I feel about some of this (I teach French at a liberal arts college, probably a subject some people wouldn't want their kids to major in for fear they wouldn't be able to pay their bills later!) but I just read this today, and I think it says a lot of what I mean. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

http://sarahb.tumblr.com/post/45915289867/kfan-ok-by-now-youve-seen-this-article-in-the

Lippy said...

I love you so much. I think I would like the one about good grades as a banner in my classroom.

Gigi said...

On the plus side - I AM enjoying these old drafts immensely.