After reading this thread"The TV Trope of Girls Beating Boys in Sports", there was some discussion about the validity of suggesting that anyone can be what they want to be, because of fundamental limitations related to physical ability, statistical likelihood, etc…
I’m not sure what to think; it does seem a bit jerkish to run around telling small children that they can’t be/do anything they dream of, if only because at that point, it’s mostly fantasy to them, and their potential isn’t yet narrowed down much.
But by the same token, suggesting to a tone-deaf teenager with no sense of rhythm that their dream of musical super-stardom is something they should actively pursue also seems kind of irresponsible as well.
What do you think? I tend to fall on the side of teaching children as they get older to be able to rationally assess things for themselves. For example, I always wanted to be a pilot and astronaut. At some point during early high school, I realized that I didn’t have the eyesight to be a pilot, and that none of the academic fields that the mission specialists tend to be experts in were what I wanted to do for my lifetime, so the prospect of getting a PhD in something just for the sake of being an astronaut seemed kind of insane, when I considered that there was every chance I wouldn’t be chosen, and I’d be stuck working in that field forever. At no point were my parents anything but supportive- but they were always realistic with me about stuff like that.