Are you a spirit crusher?
January 9, 2019

“Don’t get your hopes up.”

Have you ever made that suggestion? I forgive you, not that you asked. It would be difficult to find more good intentions in one statement. But you can crush someone’s spirit with it if you level it too often or with too much enthusiasm.

Why shouldn’t someone get her hopes up? Because you did, and were disappointed? Do yourself and the dreamer a favor. Give yourself another chance. Don’t be the weatherman whose reflections in a newspaper column about turning forty included this little gem: “What I have right now is essentially my lot in life.” He talked about what he hasn’t done and added, “What bothers me is that I likely never will. I know myself too well.”

Isn’t that sad? I mean, forty is a baby -- but that’s beside the point. “What age did you give up on your dreams?” is an awful question to be able to answer. Don’t do that to your children. Nothing puts a drag on a child’s spirit, as they say, as the unlived life of her parents. And in doing right by your children you’ll do even better by yourself. Because, really. Who wants to leave this earth, as Gregg Levoy puts it, kicking and screaming and begging for more time?