I love the royal family of William and Kate. I think they are such great role models and really seem to have such a good head on their shoulders.
I was struck recently by an interview with Prince William. He talked about the enormous responsibility of raising a future king. Can you imagine! Of course he will tell his children they are destined for greatness.
Then I realized that William has been told his whole life that he is important, that is has a destiny, that he will shape the future of the world. Wow! It’s no wonder he grew up to be such an impressive man. (Now I know not all kings grow up this way, but hang with me on this.)
What if my kids believed this about themselves? What if they truly believed in their great destiny? For better or worse, as a parent, I am the voice in my children’s heads. What voice am I giving them?
I am reminded of the story of Bunker Bean by Harry Leon Wilson. It’s a story of a quiet office clerk who believed himself to be nothing of importance–just a meager orphan, alone, and unloved. He walked without confidence, always dressed in raggedy clothing that hung from his small frame. He met a man who told him he could reveal his past lives to him. Eagerly, Bunker Bean awaited to hear of his former self. The man revealed he was none other that the great Napoleon.
Bunker Bean began to feel courageous, determined and strong. He asked the man what else he could tell him about his past self, and this time the man revealed before he was Napoleon, he was Ramses the mighty Egyptian ruler.
Bunker Bean stood even taller, believed he was a great leader because that’s what he was told, and began to gain respect and admiration of all those around him. He became mighty because he believed himself to be mighty. He grew to learn more of his past self, and his excitement for life grew. He awoke each day with a giant’s strength. He became enormously successful.
Then one morning he discovered tragically that his friend was a fraud, that he wasn’t really someone of special importance. At first Bunker Bean felt sorry for himself, until he realized that he gained respect because he acted like someone who commands respect. He became mighty and strong simply because he believed he was.
What if my child believed she was mighty and strong? What if all our children did? Someday, when the voice in my children’s heads stops being me and starts being them, I want them to believe they are special; that they are worthwhile; and that they can change the world. Because the truth is they are special and they can change the world.
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Originally written as a guest post on www.mommyconvos.com