“You might grow up to be president one day.” has lost its allure.
Our children need new heroes.
How many times did you hear this growing up:*
- “You never know, someday you might be president.”
- “If you work hard enough, you can be president one day.”
- “That child is brilliant. Maybe she’ll even be president when she grows up.”
It was always up at the top of the list of dream careers for kids–or at least for their parents. Right up there with astronaut and brain surgeon. It meant that you had potential, brilliance and were just possibly a cut above the rest. After the second “presidential” debate last night, I’m no longer so sure it’s a career to strive for.
Daytime talkshow host, kick boxing champion, used car salesman.
Used car salesman at least takes some talent and guts–it’s a tough job to sell average products to the masses. But isn’t that what politicians are supposed to do: make it sound like it’s going to be better in the future than it is currently? Ideally not lie about it, but try to explain to people how the candidate is going to make things better, how they are the right person for the job and how you should believe in them to lead you–and the rest of the country–towards progress.
But now it’s just an angry bully and a fight out on the school playground. In fact, it’s even uglier. At the playground, if one child said something mean they might later apologize. Maybe the teacher would step in and have them make up. But these two are, supposedly, adults. Adults we’re supposed to respect and admire and follow as they lead the country.
“Son, when you grow up, you can be whatever you want to be. But if you don’t mind, try to choose something that’s respectable where you show respect to those you work with and even more respect to those you serve. Maybe your career provides something to benefit others in a way that we don’t even think of today. Whatever it is, you’ll do an excellent job for it and you’ll be proud of what you do and who you became.”
* At least in the U.S.