Sunday, June 30, 2013

Who are you?

"What do you want to be when you grow up"

To me this is one of the silliest questions asked in this day and age.  First, everyone is going to continue to "be" themselves no matter when it is in their lives and figuring out who "you" are is more important than figuring out what you want to "be".  When do we get a chance to work on the "you" part of being and then once that is figured out we can decide on the "be" part.

In this day and age "being" something isn't like it used to be.  We no longer acquire knowledge on a subject and then use that knowledge for a particular career for the rest of our lives anymore.  Very few of my students will find themselves in this boat.  Most of them will decide to do one thing after college and then they will "be" something else completely for the long haul.  That is mostly because they didn't work hard enough on the REAL question everyone should be asking since Kindergarten:  "Who are you?"

In fact, I propose that most of my students should explore this question by gaining experiences before they spend blood sweat and tears (and a whole bunch of their own or someone elses money) to attend college.

By taking chances and making mistakes we as a human get to know ourselves more and more.  How we react to choosing something and how we pick ourselves up off the ground when we fail illustrates to us so much about ourselves.  I'd rather have my students decide they want to be an attorney, a doctor, a school teacher after they've experienced some of these life lessons.  They will be so much more confident and more knowledgeable about what will bring them joy and what they will be skilled at doing.  This seems to be a much better way of knowing what to "major" in and also how well they should major in it.

Don't ask your nephew the next time you see him, what he wants to be when he grows up, instead ask him Who he is?  I will venture to say this profound question will impact him much more than asking him the question that isn't serving the human race well anymore.

As I also raise children in my spare time I have come to enjoy a certain video, we watch it together over and over - it is a great example of how simple it is to answer the question "Who Am I?"  Check it out:


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