Sunday, August 12, 2012

Flying Lessons


We are each of us angels with only one wing and we can only fly by embracing one another.
-Lucretius

Am I the only one who can’t watch Toy Story 3? When the mom walks into her son’s empty room as he is leaving for college had me balling so hard, my mascara was streaming down my cheeks. It doesn’t take much to turn on my waterworks. The new Dell commercial, The Girl Who Can Fly is a sweet tear jerker too. It is about a fifth grader who didn’t listen to the “doubters, the non-believers and the no way you can do it’ers” and found a way to soar.

The commercial caught my attention this weekend after reading about a local fifth grader who just published his first book. 11-year old Conner Wilson landed a multiple book publishing contract with Magic Dreams Publishing. His 45-page illustrated story, A Giant Pencil is about a magic pencil that can erase people who bully. Wilson’s father is a published author and encouraged him to follow through on his story idea. And for that he is my hero of the week. The father that is, not the fifth grader. Because it doesn’t surprise me that an 11-year old would have an original idea. It is the stick- to-it-ness that is so impressive. 

For someone who is spending a year trying to be more childlike, there is a realization that there are some worthwhile things taught by us adults too, like work ethic. There is also a realization that we can learn from our generational differences.  I saw a fascinating marketing presentation that related how one company sells the same product to different age groups. My generation (x) was the generation of latch key kids who raised themselves. One positive by-product is we are the generation of “doers”; the entrepreneurs, the self-starters. My 12-year old son’s generation (millennial) is growing up in the shadow of 9-11 and multiple wars. The power point showed a child holding a trophy, because every child who plays gets a trophy now a days. They are cherished, protected and scheduled. What will the positive by-product of that be? 

As a parent, I don’t want to stop cherishing and protecting my kids. At the same time I want them to learn how to fly on their own. 

How do you teach someone to fly?

2 comments:

  1. Although I was a member of the "baby boomer" generation, I was also a latch key kid. Not only did I have myself to care for when I came home from school in third grade, I also had my two younger siblings I was responsible for. I think the fact that so many of us had adult responsibilities when we were very young make us very responsible, reliable, self-reliant and a host of other characteristics that may seem desirable. However, developing those qualities came at the price of a lost childhood. That's why it is so important to give ourselves permission to be more childlike...to recapture the fun, spontaneity and wonder that is characteristic of being a child. There is a book titled it's never too late to re-parent yourself. I'd say, it's never too late to embrace the beauty of being childlike. I would like to invite all of us "responsible ones" to do something silly, playful and carefree TODAY! I'll join you in playing in the rain and jumping mud puddles. :)

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    1. Hi Yvonne. Thanks for another great book suggestion. I just order Mastering the Art of Self Renewal, another one of your brilliant finds. As if sensing some of us need to receive permission to have fun, you gave it. Listen to Yvonne on this one, she is a highly trained life coach!

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