Deciding to live the life you imagine
Here’s what I would want for my children, if I had young children today. I would want them to grow up feeling in charge of their own lives. I would want them to be happy but also to care about the happiness of others. I would want them to be emotionally resilient, so they could bounce back from life’s inevitable stresses and disappointments. I would want them to feel confident in their ability to learn throughout life and to adapt to a world that is changing faster from year to year than it ever has before. I would want them to have goals — goals that they feel some passion about. I would want them to be able to think critically and make rational decisions that help them achieve their goals. I would want them to have moral values that help give meaning and structure to their lives, and I would hope that these would be human values — values having to do with human rights and obligations not to tread on those rights. — Can You Measure an Education? Can You Define Life’s Meaning?
Articulating the kind of life we want for our children is the first step to making it happen.
The second step is to live that life ourselves.
The third is to dedicate space, time, energy, and support to our children’s ideas.
The family culture that we create becomes the environment that either feeds or impedes what our children are able to do with their own interests and passions. We either support their work and their unique gifts or we don’t. We either deliberately create the context in which they live — by sharing our values and what really matters — or we leave that to their friends, society, and the media.
We have the power to create the circumstances under which our children can direct and manage their own learning and make their ideas happen. We have the power to create the life we want, for ourselves and for our family. The only question is whether we’ll choose to wield it.