The 2008 Olympic games begin tonight in Beijing, China (I'm actually watching the opening ceremonies as I type). I was just remembering how, every time I ask children what their "Big Dream" is during an Olympic year, there are inevitably a handful who respond that their dream is to be "An Olympic swimmer" or "An Olympic gymnast" or "An Olympic basketball player." The Olympics seem to help many children see the possibilities, and believe in them... at least for those interested in athletics. This always makes me smile. What I enjoy is that few ever say their "Big Dream" is to be a "gold medal" Olympian, or any medal winner, but simply to be an Olympian. To me this speaks to the appreciation of abilities, and the effort... the journey... rather than the destination.
Whether dreaming about using abilities to participate in an Olympic sanctioned sport, to create a new computer game, to create a best selling book, to create a cure for cancer... or to simply ride a bike to a friend's house... I hope all children learn to develop an appreciation of their abilities, whatever they can do, no matter how big or small, no matter where those abilities take them.