When I was growing up I don’t remember ever hearing that I could do anything. It certainly was not a common refrain. My parents were very supportive and I was coming of age when Sally Ride took to space, literally showing how women could not only smash through the glass ceiling, but keep on going right on out of the earth’s atmosphere. My father made it possible for me to learn photography by paying the costs of film processing and my mother taught me by her beautiful example how to be a mom. No one ever told me that I could be a photographer when I grew up but no one said that I couldn’t either. They just supported me along each and every step forward and all the setbacks. Through my hard work, experiments and years of learning, my parents showed interest and offered encouragement.
Now that I am still working everyday to continue working as a photographer and raise my own children, I see that there has been a shift in the culture. Kids today expect that they can be or do anything. And they expect it as soon as they want it.
Modern day media has contributed to an interesting environment in which to raise children. Like digital photography with the camera set to auto, success is seen as immediate and easy to get. Overnight sensations are seemingly everywhere. I have started to wonder, where are the stories of the hard work and dedication aimed at our youth? Where can they find the stories to prove that sticking with something when it is hard will be worth it?
I’d never deny my kids their dreams and I certainly want them to feel like they can do anything, I am just searching for others to reinforce what I know to be true. It takes years of hard work, dedication and perseverance to become an overnight success.
Last winter, Gemma and I had a chance to head up to Sydney to spend a day on the set of filming for Dance Academy. The return of this story in such a big way from TV to the cinemas is in itself a testament to hard work and believing in your dream. Also actually seeing how many people are involved working long hours for so many months to produce something that runs just a couple of hours at the most is eye opening for anyone and I am glad that Gemma was there to experience that behind the scenes. The storyline of Dance Academy itself will be something for kids to look to for further encouragement in putting themselves out there again and again if they want something enough. It is not sufficient for kids to simply believe in themselves. They need to keep pushing and working towards their goals even when that means they have to work around real life.
We, as parents, have a big job raising this next generation and it always helps when pop culture supports us with a strong message as well.
Dance Academy opens on the 6th of April.
This post made possible by Nuffnang and Dance Academy