I love Melissa McCarthy. She's funny, she's smart, she's honest, and she's a powerhouse in her industry.
I was reading an article about her in my very intellectual People magazine, and I came across this gem about how her parents raised her to aim for her dreams:
"When I wanted to do something, they didn't say, 'You can do anything, you're perfect!' Instead they said, 'Well, if you work really hard, you've got as good a chance as anybody else.' "
"'Why not you?' is an unbelievably great sentiment to give to a kid. Not entitlement but instead: Work your butt off, and you have a decent chance at this."
Is that not amazing? It's not a dream-killer, but it's also not "you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to if you just NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP." Which while it sounds great at first, does an incredible disservice to kids (and adults) by denying them the right to fail, to stumble, to have one path not work out and then find another one, perhaps towards a different destination than they'd originally planned for.
Melissa McCarthy's version acknowledges the chance aspect of things in life -- sure, hard work is worth A LOT, but chance plays a bigger role than many would like to believe (being born in particular place, or time... having the person interviewing you for a job be from the same small town or have gone to the same college, the amazing miracle of conception no matter how it was achieved, and a zillion other serendipitous things that can be influenced with effort but really come down to right place, right time).
It takes away the illusion that there are answers for everything, or that anything is deserved, pushing you to do your best and go for what you want.
It's a shame I can't pass this nugget on to my own children, but I can certainly do something to incorporate it into my classroom...because it is a great message for a kid to think on.
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