Whenever I've had the chance I used those 3 words to express my aspirations for my own children: that they find "work worth doing." I've tried to model that kind of thinking for the many parents I've worked with as a teacher and school head over the years--a sort of antidote to more prescriptive expectations we parents sometimes express. Here's an example from the book Plato and a Platypus Walked into a Bar:
"Mrs. Goldstein was walking down the street with her two grandchildren. A friend stopped to ask her how old they were. She replied, 'The doctor is five and the lawyer is seven."
The joke makes me smile until I think about the way we parents can pressure and deflect the aspirations of our children. Reminds me of the young man who quit medical school after two years to become a teacher--when he realized he was pursuing his parents' dream rather than his own.
"Work worth doing." Actually, I'm not sure where I picked up that phrase. I don't usually speak in sound bytes, so I'm sure I borrowed it from somewhere, though I've not really seen it anywhere else---until today: here's a little feature about Sandra Day O'Conner and her key to happiness: