I certainly had no idea that my life would turn outas it did. I look at others and often wonder how they arrived at what they do in life — the whys of who they are. How did this man become a ditch digger while that one is a baker, a salesman or a brain surgeon?
Opportunity must play a role, as well as privilege and education, but is that the whole answer?
We ask our children “What do you want to be when you grow up?” but I wonder how many people planned on doing what they’re doing? How many had it planned for them?
Parental influence explains the professions of many. Parents want their children to have their own values and interests, and sometimes they’ll pass on the family business or family traditions. Generations of cops and firefighters have kids who grow up to be cops and firefighters. Children of entertainers frequently become entertainers themselves. So, some children do follow in the footsteps of their parents, doing what they see their moms and dads do.
But children can flounder for many reasons. Poor kids might lack educational opportunities or parental guidance. But even privileged children can suffer in the educational system. If their parents single-mindedly push them to achieve straight A’s and get high qualifications, they might miss out on the real purpose of education. Shouldn’t children be encouraged to explore how they fit in society as they grow to maturity? (Beverly A. Jackson)