He said we are not a product of our environment; we are a product of our expectations. His story is compelling because he and another man named Wes Moore grew up in very similar neighborhoods under very similar circumstances, but one ended up a Rhodes Scholar and the other is serving a life sentence without parole for murder.
They both came from similar environments, but because of the very different expectations the two men had for themselves, their lives took off in very different directions.
He also said we need to teach our children to dream big and to teach them that they can expect that dream to come true.
As I’ve thought about what Mr. Moore said yesterday, it make me wonder what would happen if every mom just took a few minutes – maybe 15 or so (I know what you’re thinking, “Fifteen minutes alone without someone yelling for me to get them a snack or wipe their bum? Impossible!”) – but seriously, what if we took a moment to sit down and really think about what it is that we expect from ourselves.
What do we want out of our lives? And what should we do to teach our children to dream big and expect that their dreams can come true?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. But I do think that these questions are worthy of at least a little pondering.
Mr. Moore also spoke of a woman who said that her definition of Hell is that God would show her everything she could have accomplished had she only tried. What if taking just a few minutes to try to decide what direction we want to head in could make the difference between Heaven or Hell? Between the White House or prison? Between joyful family or miserable family?
I don’t know about you, but I am going to at least try.