I was having a conversation with a friend this morning. He’s a dad; like myself. He’s a teacher; like myself. He loves his children; like myself. During the course of our conversation he mentioned his desire to “Give his kids the world.” Sounds good right? In theory, yes. But in reality, we all know those kids who were given the world, only to grow up expecting the world should continue to provide something for them. In turn, what they offer back to the world is either minimal or self-serving.
I don’t want to give my children the world. I don’t want a desire to be served by others to be my, or their, contribution to humanity. I’m a firm believer that each of us is endowed with a responsibility to give back. Ours is a responsibility not to leave a footprint on humanity. Doing so implies we tread on others to achieve our own success. Instead, I believe our responsibility is more centered on cultivating seeds of initiative, ambition, and selflessness in our kids for the betterment of mankind.
Is that so wrong? A couple of studies out of Penn State and Duke Universities tell me it’s not. In a study of more than 700 kids between the ages of 5 and 25 from across the US, researchers discovered the parents and teachers of successful kids shared these 7 characteristics:
Simply put, I don’t want to give my kids the world. I want to give them each of these 7 things. Additionally, I want to teach them to be kind, wise, strong, and good…and then give the world my kids.