We all love to hear a story about a person who despite all challenges in their life is able to emerge from their struggles a strong, independent person; a person we would see on Oprah bearing their heart and telling their story of success. We all love an underdog. However these stories are not nearly as frequent as we would like to hear. Rather for every one person who may make it out of their situations there are at least one hundred who are waiting to be cast on the Jerry Springer Show. People who despite growing up in a situation that hasn’t worked for those around them, haven’t learned enough to try a different path in life. It may sound mean or crass, but I call these individuals Umbilical Underachievers.
I vow to myself that I will not have the same life my parents have led from themselves. I am smart enough to take their life lessons and teach myself what in life to do or not to do. I’m in no way saying that they have led less than satisfactory lives, but I am saying that I will take what they have given me and make it better. And I feel that that is a gift that ever parent should wish for their child, and every child want for themselves.
It astounds me when I hear another heart breaking story of a girl who is pregnant at 15, whose mom had her at 16 and so on. I am flabbergasted that the cycle was never broken. And granted this situation works out wonderfully for some, those are the Oprah stories, it doesn’t for all.
Do we as a society glorify these situations? Do we say it is okay to not break the cycle by giving publicity like, Teen Mom, True Life, Jerry Springer or Steve Wilkos? Yes, they make good drama but those are real people, living real lives, who aren’t making life better for themselves. Instead of having shows where we just sit and watch these people stay stagnant in life, I believe we should all go out and try to better our lives. Don’t look toward those shows that showcase a mundane life to justify your life. Rather look towards those people who have been able to surface from their lives dirt as a inspiration and a goal to work towards.
We have it in us all to make a better life for ourselves. We just have to believe that we can and not loose sight of that goal. And when it comes time to give the gift of hope to your children, please oh please don’t allow them to be umbilical underachievers. Allow them to blossom. And allow yourself to blossom too. Don’t be afraid!