Okay. Picture this. A wittle kindergartner runs around a backyard, holding onto the sides of a cardboard box that has wings attached to the side. Make it a boy or a girl. Whichever you prefer. They have a make-shift helmet on and they’re making whooshing noises as they fly. They come up to you, smile wide with a missing front tooth, and say, “I’m going to be an astronaut when I grow up.”
So cute, right?
You being the knowledgeable adult are faced with quite the dilemma in which how you respond to this young, big-eyed child. You can either:
A. Sit this youngster down and explain to them the long strenuous journey it takes to become an astronaut and put this little dweam of theirs into perspective.
B. Pat them on the head and say, “That’s cute kid.”
C. Encourage this charmer by saying something along the lines of “An astronaut?! That’s so cool! Stay in school and you can do it!”
For the love all things Disney, you better have went C. This kid isn’t just going to be an astronaut. They’re going to be the first to land on Mars. They’re going to be the one to discover aliens on Neptune. They’re going to settle the debate of whether Pluto is a planet or nah? and all they need is your words of encouragement to fuel them in making their dream a reality.
This kid is blessed with something that many people lose when they get older, and it’s not ignorance. It’s innocence, and if honed correctly (and not stepped on by the harshness of reality and the people who inhabit it), it can lead to amazing things.
Now, I didn’t write a blog post to express how we need to scour the world for kindergarteners and encourage them all to chase their dreams. No. I think there’s a much bigger demographic being left out of this “dream encouragement” campaign and that’s everyone else in the world.
Go to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It’s filled with little kids telling you what their dreams are, what their interests are, what they wanna be when they grow up.
You don’t see it? Well, I’m not talking about actual 5-10 year olds. I’m talking about the little kids that still live inside a lot of people. They’re all over social media. They’re in your classes. They’re at work. And they’re all running up to you and saying, “Hey! I wanna be this!”
No. They’re not showing you their custom made cardboard-box-rocket-ship. They’re doing it in the form of sharing their SoundCloud mix, inviting you to their small business’s Facebook page, or sharing something they painted on Instagram. Future lawyers let you know where going to law school. Future doctors share their first photos in their scrubs (or is it white coats?). The little kid still lives in all of these people (and I lowkey believe it lives in everyone, even if they’re not openly expressing themselves).
Many aren’t sinking the validation of a double-tap or a like or a retweet. Many don’t need the “Congrats” or the “You can do it” comments. But you never know when a little pat on the back (no matter what form it comes in) can encourage someone to keep going or bring them out of a slump.
I can tell you first hand (as a dude with a blog) how every like, comment, text, all play a big role in keeping me blogging. When ever I get into a “Ahhhh… is anyone gunna read this?” mood, I go back to those moments in which people were moved (or felt sorry enough for me) to comment or text me something.
(I personally try to screenshot them all and keep em in a special folder. Lol.)
They’re so simple, yet so fantastic. They aren’t necessarily what I seek, but they can highkey fuel me. They’re the people telling the kindergartner in me with the box with wings in my hand, “Hey! That’s the coolest rocket ship I’ve ever seen.”
But enough about me. Back to your friends! They’re so many other ways you can help be a fuel to them. Not a good texter? Very selective about what you can throw likes to on Facebook? You can (obvs depending on what your friend’s up to):
- Hold a celebratory party when they accomplish something
- Buy their mixtape
- Rock their fashion line
- Share their SoundCloud account
- Invite people to like their Facebook page
- Bring other friends to their musical performance
- Go to their poetry reading
- Suggest a book for them to read that you think they’d find interesting/encouraging
- Comment on all their artsy instagram photos
- Simply check up on them from time to time
And the list goes on!
Yeah, technically none of us are astronauts yet. None of us are best-selling rappers, authors, actors, lawyers, doctors, etc (I’m making a bold assumption about my readers here). But it’s not easy to get there, and a part of it starts with a dope-ass support system. Each of us could use one or maybe a stronger one, cause you never know what hardships may lie ahead.
But I don’t say all this to get you to call your friends out on being shitty supporters. Take it upon yourself to do better and watch your own support grow exponentially. It’ll happen. I guarantee it.
Yeah, we all grow old. We get a little taller. A little chubbier. That gap in our teeth fills in. But at the end of the day, we’re all still that little kid with the cardboard box. It’s just that our make-shift rocket ship might be something else now and our backyard is the whole world. So let’s encourage eachother like it.