WHY DO WE, AS A SOCIETY, WANT OUR CHILDREN TO DENY WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY LOVE?!
My mission in life is to encourage people to live true to their souls. It is my belief that doing what we love is key to maintaining a joyful life. The primary block to making soul-based decisions is societal programming and I'm watching in disbelief as the school attempts to program my daughter in real-time.
She is in 8th grade and is in the midst of registration for high school. Last night she sat on the couch crying because she felt overwhelmed at having to plan out her next 8 years of life (understandably). What classes and extracurriculars will she take in high school to ensure she'll get into a good college so she can get a good job and not end up on the street? That is literally the drama going on in her head over this. And anyone who knows my daughter, knows school is more of a social occasion than anything else.
Sophia's passions are drawing and writing and she’s been doing both since she could hold a pencil, but the school has already convinced her that she will never make a living doing either of those things. And this is despite having a mother whose mission in life is to encourage her and anyone else who will listen to live TRUE TO THEIR SOULS!
Why do we, as a society, want our children to deny who they are and what they love?
Perhaps it is because we, too, were programmed to believe that we aren’t acceptable unless we follow protocol: get into the best college, become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, get married to another doctor, lawyer, or engineer, give birth to 2.2 children, buy a BMW, and a 4-bedroom house with a white picket fence.
If we don’t achieve society’s agenda, we are left with “what’s wrong with me” inadequacies that we may or may not overcome. And if we do achieve the agenda, we still aren’t happy because we didn’t follow our soul’s calling.
It’s time for us to take a good look at what we are telling our children and why. Do we really believe that our children need to get a 4.4 GPA and be in 42 extracurriculars to be successful in life? Is that what we want for our children? Is it more important that they make a million dollars a year or is it more important to feel a sense of meaning, purpose, love, and joy throughout their life?
What’s the worst thing that could happen if they follow their passion? What are we trying to shield our children from?
Perhaps…but what’s on the other side of those things? What happens when they finally succeed? They will learn that their tenacity, resilience, and dedication to their soul’s desire brings a sense of satisfaction and wholeness that isn’t found any other way. The empowerment that comes from following a soul’s passion is unlike anything else because, after all, it is our mission in life.
It’s not likely you will hear of a person following their passion, through struggle and strife, and finally achieving their goal saying “I totally regret doing what I love.” But regret IS a normal occurrence when following society’s agenda. You can have all the money and things and still be dreadfully unhappy.
So, in conclusion, I propose that we start a new kind of societal agenda – the kind that pressures our kids to be who they are and do what they love at all costs.
Change starts with us – for the future happiness of our children and a happier world.