Defying Gravity – What I Hope I Have Taught My Kids [Opinion]
Defying gravity, the ability to fly without fear, the courage to soar beyond the horizon and find your own path, that about sums up what I hope I have taught my kids. I, like you, have only one hope for my children. I hope they will be happy. I hope I have given them the tools to discover what makes them happy. I hope I have shown them that happiness is grown from within and is not a gift that others can bestow or take away.
As I write this, my daughter Anna is currently auditioning to appear on a national TV show. My son Jack is currently sleeping after his first night on a new job. Jack will be leaving Lafayette in a few months to attend college in Atlanta. So this summer job will go a long way in providing spending money for a “broke college student”.
Will Anna make it on TV? Will Jack learn how to build airplanes? I don’t know. To me the bigger question is will they be happy doing either of those things?
What is happiness? To me it’s always been about doing the things that you would do anyway if money wasn’t involved. I understand the importance of money and feeding a family. There are so many people that sacrifice their own happiness so that those they love might pursue their happiness. I guess it’s in that sacrifice they find their own happiness.
What would you be doing everyday if you had the basics of food, shelter, clothing and other living comforts taken care of? Sure you might lie around on the beach for a few days but eventually you would feel the need to do something.
What would that something be?
Would you be a singer? Would you be a fireman? Would you learn to fly an airplane or dive deep beneath the ocean? Would you use your talents to make this world a better place for others?
Happiness is a journey, it is not your final destination. We are all “works in progress” and to say we have run our race is to invite death to take us to the next place. I hope as parents Jill and I have instilled this desire to seek out happiness in our kids.
I believe the only job a parent really has is to teach their children the difference between right and wrong. Then teach them how to make good decisions. If those two lessons have been learned then another great human being has been placed on the planet. Can you tell I am a minimalist?
Regardless these are my thoughts on kids, dreams and defying gravity as I know it. There is a wonderful song from the musical Wicked that describes the essence of my writings for today. If you ever get the chance to see this amazing performance, go. You will be thrilled, amazed and lifted up to a place you could never imagine. It is that good.
I will keep you informed on the progress of Jack and Anna and I thank you for helping Jill and I raise them these almost 20 years you and I have been sharing together on the radio. I know we couldn’t have done what we have done if it weren’t for your kindness, love and support.