Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.
John Ed Pearce
Like most children I always wanted to grow up, become a business professional of some successful sort (other times, a police officer giving tickets to drivers like a mad woman), and drive my shiny new sports car to a large home filled with cats. But I was always changing my prospective careers in mind, having a difficult time deciding my strengths. It is much more easy to identify weaknesses rather than pinpointing one’s mediums and strengths. Perhaps some children knew what they wanted, like my best friend Lindsay, who excelled fully in becoming a chemical engineer for a major company by 23 years old. Although two years younger than myself, she has been my best friend since kindergarten, my ultimate role model, and also a very treasured mentor for my moments of self-doubt. More often than not, a best friend (or several if you’re lucky) can help you soul-search and give you the support you need, and well, a much-needed critique. Whatever the case, it’s those dreams that inspire and help children think of their possible future expeditions.
I have found that as a high energy child who tromped all over my grandparent’s property in Santa Cruz Mountains, CA, I was a creative soul with a love for the outdoor type of adventures. I used a rake to make trails in the forest, make moss/stick houses for my Barbie’s at tops of streams, and utilized a rusted wagon like a three wheeler to ride down the slopes of the orchards (Madame Alexander dolls in tow). I learned that having undirected, unsupervised creativity is key to a free mind. After hearing Edward O. Wilson speak on NPR Radio, I fell in love with his perspective that individuals should not separate the sciences and mathematics from pursuing literature, but that they should pursue both and excel at whatever career choice they choose. I loved this quote:
“The ideal scientist thinks like a poet and only later works like a bookkeeper. Keep in mind that innovators in both literature and science are basically dreamers and storytellers. In the early stages of the creation of both literature and science, everything in the mind is a story.”
Edward O. Wilson is the Professor and Curator of Entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I plan on reading his novel, “The Young Scientist” very soon and will write a blog post on it as well.
The life lesson I have learned from my own childhood experience and through observations of children is that they are like little scientists with extreme will power. Let them roam and take credit for their own healthy decisions.~
What childhood memories still influence your life? Have you thought about your childhood self in comparison to who you are today?
- Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O Wilson – review (oddonion.com)
- Book Review: “Letters to a Young Scientist” (todayithurts.wordpress.com)
- On Oracles of Science (afrankangle.wordpress.com)
- Importance of Early Childhood Friendships (kingstonsworld.com)