Cheering “Go For It!” and purchasing high end shoes,
equipments, camps, and lessons to help the child pursue their dream of a NFL starring role, may not
change the outcome. Encouraging him to try harder, do push ups, run track, visualize his dream coming true isn’t going to change circumstance. Let him try anyway, but then let him learn the tough lesson.
Look at the kid who is five feet tall his freshman
year and weighs under a hundred pounds. Is this kid even making the high school team? A positive
attitude and a display of hard work may earn his spot on the team, but is he
ever getting off the bench? Sure he can
make every practice, may even get the second string line-up, but he isn’t going
to outrun, out muscle the kid twice his size. He can wear the team t-shirt and
travel on the team bus. He can pretend it doesn’t hurt that he doesn’t
touch the game ball. No amount of mental aerobics and positive thinking is
going to change his circumstance. No amount of mantras or feel good posters or
bumper stickers or key rings is going to make it possible for him to play pro
football. And that’s okay. Disappointment is okay.
The realization that we do not have super powers to overcome whatever obstacles exist is a
healthy conclusion that allows us to be kind to ourselves. Not being able to achieve whatever we want is
not a sign of weakness, or a resolve to fail, quit, or give up. Dreams are something imagined and
supposed. Moving on is liberating.