Updated: December 23, 2013 2:38PM
I received a good number of readers’ responses to last week’s column. Here are a few of them:
A female reader writes, “Hello, just finished reading your article in today’s newspaper, ‘Big dreams can come true, son.’ I’ve suffered through moments where people have thoughtlessly made comments regarding me and my abilities, but due to my gender.”
“It’s the year 2013 and we still haven’t got it right. How do we tell kids (I have two boys — white, and who I want to be fair, compassionate and able to put themselves in other peoples’ shoes) to ignore these comments, empower themselves and stick up for one another, stick to their work and move forward?
“Hopefully your son will be a great researcher or scientist who cures us of some illness or disease. Or maybe he’ll be the one who fixes our economy. Or maybe he’ll write his own television show and makes us laugh. Keep steering him toward greatness and reminding him he’s capable of it. That’s what parents are for, right?”
Indeed. I sat him down and we read my column together — a teaching moment. And in the end, we agreed: Onward and upward.
A comedic TV show? Hmmmm. He is a pretty funny little dude, lol.
Another reader writes, “As an African-American father, I so understand your point . . . With a high school senior son, we’re applying to nothing but great schools; East Coast mostly. The hell with naysayers.”
My sentiments exactly.
From another reader: “I remember when I took my daughter to a college fair, and we were looking for a school that had a pre-med major. We were told by one of the Caucasian representatives, ‘If she doesn’t get into med school, she can be a nurse.’ I promptly let him know that she was going to become a physician. My daughter has been practicing (as a medical doctor) for over eight years.
“Dream on, children! Claim it and keep your eyes on the prize. Let your son know that I am very proud of him and all children who dream big.”
I will. Thank you.
A reader writes, “The evil white people strike again. Sometimes, a dumb comment is just a dumb comment. This white person hopes that your son’s dreams come true. I wish the same for my son, as well.”
Thank you. Just fyi, I never said this was just a black and white thing. But may I ask, is it ever about race?
Writes another reader: “It occurs all the time that another parent will try to top your hopes for your kids or squash them in conversations . . . I am not so sure if race plays into this.
“So again, push and shove your children (with love, of course) in the right direction and they will be winners already in your eyes. Anything is possible in today’s world.”
A twenty-something-year-old man writes: “I read your article, ‘Big dreams can come true, son.’ And I would like to say, ‘thank you.’ It felt like it was meant for me to read.
“Mostly, it touched me because it was what my uncle always told me. And even though a child, teenager or adult probably will never freely admit it, it feels good to hear another person tell you your dream can be a reality.”
It can. So dream big.