Just about every one of us remembers a time when either a parent, relative, or teacher asked, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"
I remember being asked that in 1st grade. My response, "A king."
"You want to run your own country? That's sweet, Quincy."
"No, ma'am. I want to run the world."
Of course my teacher and classmates laughed. That is until they saw the photo I drew of myself on a throne and the flag that I designed. Yeah, I was dead serious.
Fast-forward 37 years later and I haven't conquered any countries to claim as my own as of yet. Maybe I'll get there, but in the meantime I have other things to do. I have a purpose to fulfill. You see, my purpose evolved over time, but I had the right mentality for it in place all along.
I had reasons for wanting to be a king: my grandmother worked in a nursing home on the overnight shift for years. My mom worked long hours as a supervisor in a factory for over two decades. My father also worked in a factory for around the same amount of time and rarely missed a day of work. I wanted to become a king because I knew by doing so that my grandmother, mom, and dad would never have to work again. I wanted to have people do things for them.
Even as a 6 year old my focus for wanting to rule the world was so that I could share its riches. Riches don't necessarily refer to money either. Wisdom is considered one of life's greatest wishes in my opinion. I discovered that my purpose was to help others in some shape, form or fashion. A lot of it I've done through giving advice and sharing stories of life experiences here on the blog and over at T2Q.
However, not everyone has realized that they have a purpose. That's something Jay pointed out to me that I'd never considered. The people that I've seen on the nightly news who have been arrested for (insert crime here) didn't recognize their purpose. No one probably told them that they could truly be something in life and overcome almost any unfortunate circumstance put before them.
Everyone in the world possesses multiple talents and it's the duty of the parents to discover those talents. Whether you're an artist, dancer, architect, scientist, or actor, it's something within you. The key to being happy and productive in life is to find something that you enjoy and find reasons to do it! It's just that simple!
But, if a kid is never taught that dreams can come true then eventually they'll stop dreaming. And they will walk around aimlessly like zombies not knowing where they are going. Not having a reason or a goal to make life worth living. One thing that I remember Jay saying is that there is so much "untapped potential in the cemetery." People who could have been something if they only knew what that something was to be.
The mind of a child is like a safe that contains riches. It's up to us, the adults, to unlock it so that everyone else can benefit from what's inside.