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No You Can't

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Are we sending the wrong message to our children? We tell them "you can do anything you want to do, and you can be anything you want to be".

But, really they can't. We are, each and everyone of us, limited by physical and mental boundaries with which we were born. It's in our genes.

I cannot, no matter how hard I try, be a world class weight lifter. I am 5' 7" and 149 pounds today. I am 66 years old, so I doubt, no matter how hard I tried, could I soon become a world class jockey, either. Nor could Shaquille Oneil likely become one either. Oh man, there's a visual I don't like.

What we can do, is become the best that WE can be. We can strive for excellence in all areas, cerebral and anatomical. And that is the message we should give our kids.

We can be our best at everything we want to do. Study, train and challenge yourself, you will be rewarded with more than you possibly could imagine.

Yes, we can be "the best that we can be" and not be "anything we want to be", and that's still a pretty good thing.


Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICAGOTOM 6/8/2013 5:58AM

    Right on! There are tons of things that are out of our control and that we cannot change. All the more reason to be attentive to what can be done and do it.

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CM_GARDNER78 5/27/2013 3:00PM

    This is total truth. As much as people do not like to hear it/believe it. But it is true - just because I put my mind to it, doesn't make it so. Love this blog! :-)

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AKATHLEEN54 5/26/2013 8:50PM

    I think the key is to be happy with yourself. If you know that you gave your very best effort and did everything in your own power to get you to where you want to be, even if at that point it didn't work out you have to be pleased with yourself that you gave it everything you had. There are powers at be, that are sometimes stronger than our own, that may sometimes keep us from obtaining our goals, but that being said, be happy with you you are, the effort you put forth and you will reap your own reward. Thank you for an excellent blog... very thought provoking.

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DALID414 5/26/2013 4:12PM

    My father made it a point to tell me: don't think you're the best at anything because there's always going to be someone better than you. So of course, I always did my best anyways!

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TIME-4-TINA 5/26/2013 2:07PM

    I've also taught my children the harsh reality that sometimes it's not how hard you work or how good you are at something, but who you know. We have had many instances where our children were not played in a sport. Children with less talent were favored because their parents were lining the coaches pockets.

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FANGFACEKITTY 5/26/2013 2:06PM

    So true. I never bought into the "you can do anything you want" when I was a kid because even then I knew there were things I could not do well or at all...or would not be allowed to do because we still have a screwed up system of gender discrimination in certain institutions.

So I tried not to repeat that false sense of encouragement to my own children, instead encouraging them to try to do the best they could do at whatever they chose to try.

Of course the "downside" of this philosophy is you wind up with outspoken kids who can see the inherent silliness of our behaviours and question why the kids who failed get the same awards as the straight A kids or the point of trying to win a game if the losing team gets a trophy too..in front of various assemblies of parents and peers who do not have the same appreciation of calling it like you see it. Smart kids, good questions...even if we all developed a reputation in the school district lol.

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SHIRAZSOLLY 5/26/2013 12:15PM

    We are also, of course sending the wrong message to all our women and men, every day on TV and in magazines. Everyone is supposed to be tall and built the same way... even though very few of us are. As a result, in places like China, some people are literally saving for years to get their leg bones stretched surgically. I lie not.

We are who we are, whether we are 4'8" or 6'8", apples or pears or spaghetti noodles, wizards at math or wizards at music. Our best aim in life is to graciously and with humor accept our limitations, to improve what we can and to embrace and strengthen further our skills.

Your family is lucky to have such a role model!

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NWFL59 5/26/2013 10:49AM

    emoticon emoticon

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STRIVERONE 5/26/2013 10:45AM

    To be the best you can be is one of the few goals that is both idealistic and realistic. I like that.

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LANNIEMANUEL 5/26/2013 10:37AM

    so true.

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DARLY55 5/26/2013 10:31AM

    Great message! You are so right about limitations, and being realistic with our children. They also need to see by our example that we strive for our best in everything we do.

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 5/26/2013 10:16AM

    Good point - as I say to my kids - if you can look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and say I did my best and gave it 100% of all I am. You can't ask for anything more of yourself and no one else can't ask more of you.

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NATPLUMMER 5/26/2013 10:06AM

    emoticon You are so right!

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LAURIE5658 5/26/2013 9:48AM

    Now THAT is a spot on perspective. Thank you, Vic!

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BIGPAWSUP 5/26/2013 9:02AM

    This is an awesome blog and so true. We need to teach our children to be the best they can be. And WE need to be the best we can be!

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