From childhood, we are pounded with the message that we should live our dream, and dare to be the best. We are challenged to be ambitious, to run faster, to jump higher, to hit harder.
I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I think that message is one of the worst parts of American culture.
This message is, at its root, materialism. The “dreams” that everyone talks about are dreams of achieving wealth, fame, or status.
We tell our kids to dream of being professional musicians, or Olympic athletes, or CEO of a company, or President of the good old U-S-of-A.
We tell our kids that they can be anything that they want to be - and then we tell them that they want to be rich and famous.
Our values are in the wrong place.
We should be telling our kids that they can be anything that they want to be - responsible adults, loving husbands, caring wives, passionate Christ-followers.
We should be telling them that they are, at times, going to fail, but that truly succeeding at life means overcoming those failures. For each of them, those obstacles will be different, and for each of them, success will be different.
Let’s emphasize the value of being a strong contribution to humanity.