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Posts Tagged ‘Dreams’

Never Take the Dream out of the Child

March 3, 2014

ellis cashmore

It doesn’t matter how far fetched a child’s dreams may be, or how much it seems to distract them from their schoolwork, their dreams are vital to their growth and development.

A child’s dream is indicative of where their passions lie, and too many of us suppress our passions in favor of the socially acceptable and mundane. Not every child can become a pop star or gold medalist, but there is nothing wrong with aspiring to be either.

When I was a teenager I wished to be involved with movie making. I didn’t have to be the star or the director, I would have settled being the personal assistant to the editor.

Fast forward to adulthood and I may not be in the movie industry as such, but my desire to make it in movies was particularly helpful and instructive. It made me aware that what I really wanted was to make a difference. Just like the movies I watched as a child made a difference to me, I wanted to find a career that would allow me to inspire others.

That’s why I am completely at odds with the academic that spoke against allowing children to dream big:

Focusing on sporting success is a waste of time because ‘very, very few children’ are going to make it, an academic has said.

Ellis Cashmore, a professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University, says there is little proof that the Olympic Games create any kind of meaningful sporting legacy.

And he believes it is high time parents realised children are more likely to make the finals of shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent than become sporting heroes of any sort.

‘We shouldn’t be trying to channel all of our energy into this pursuit of excellence in sports when very, very few children are going to succeed at any kind of level at all,’ he said.

‘My answer to parents who tell me their child might become a leading footballer or athlete is that they are putting them at risk of serious injury or closer to the world of performance-enhancing drugs.

‘I ask them: “Are you happy about that?” and they say: “It won’t happen to my child”.

‘To which I reply: “But it goes with the territory”. The cheats are very often those at the top.

Ellis Cashmore says there is little proof that the Olympic Games create any kind of meaningful sporting legacy

‘Do we want to churn out one-dimensional characters who leave no stone unturned in pursuit of excellence?’

 

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Have Our Children Stopped Dreaming?

December 19, 2013

spec

AIMEE
I’ve thought it all out. We’re going to
live on a horse ranch, my husband and I.
I’ll work for NASA. And my husband…
he’ll do something completely different.
And we’ll offset each other. Like we’ll
have some things in common but we’ll also
have all these other dimensions that we
bring to the relationship. And that’s how
I know it’ll work.
JOE
(dismissive)
Sounds like a dream.
AIMEE
(right back at him)
It’s good to have dreams. Don’t you
think?

Above is dialogue from the best teenage drama I have seen in many years, The Spectacular Now.

It got me thinking. Do our children have dreams like our parents did? Like we did?

The generation of the moon landing always remind us that the event of man on the moon was not the main cause of celebration – it was the feeling that if we can walk on the moon, we can achieve anything we put our mind to.

Maybe those ambitions and dreams were dashed, leaving my generation feeling less convinced that vision and the determination to see it come to fruition is enough to make it happen. We still had dreams, but perhaps our faith in our capacity to see it through brought on a more lackluster work ethic and more brittle resolve.

Today’s children seem to have taken on our worst habits and abandoned the thirst for achieving something special. They don’t seem to know what they want to be or want to do. They often seem to lack the spark of self-belief to even contemplate achieving something monumental, or at least unique.

You might think I am being pessimistic when it comes to the next generation and their prospects for the future. This is certainly not the case. I have so much faith in our young. They have so much to offer and are extremely willing to learn. They just need to be ignited – to start believing again.

And they don’t need a moon landing or a Mars mission to get them dreaming again. They just need to look at their parents and teachers and role models and feel assured by what they see. If they see us living lives of integrity, taking smart risks, following our dreams, taking pleasure in our lives, they will understand that the hard work required is for a good reason. An achievable reason.We don’t want to raise a generation of children that shelves dreams in preference for the safe and boring road.

It’s up to us.


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