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Warning Against Materialism – Encouraging Dreams

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.  ~Anatole France
Kyle always seems to get what he wants… even if it is a giant lollipop! Idlewild Park Gutchess Picnic 2004

Kyle knows what he wants in life. Yes, our little twelve year old knows how he wants his life to unfold, what he wants to do with it and he’s not afraid to state his plans. Not only tell us, but repeat it and repeat it and repeat it, over and over again. He’ll beat it down our throats till we think it’s our dream and not his. I can honestly say he borderlines obsessive, or is he just passionate?

This one is a tough one.  I don’t want to stifle Kyle’s dreams and tell him he can’t accomplish them, because he most certainly can, especially if he puts his mind to it. Yet on the other hand, I want to teach him to remain humble and more importantly, I want to teach him that material items will NEVER make you happy and will never give you a full life. How to handle this?

So what is this grandiose dream? Kyle wants a mansion with plenty of land.  Ok, that’s not too bad and absolutely obtainable.  But what he wants is a house size fish tank!  Really?  Yes!  He wants a fish tank with all sorts of salt water fish including sharks floating around for all to see.  Not only does he want this monstrosity, but he wants it located on another piece of his property adjacent to his mansion.

In addition to this dream structure, Kyle wants to charge people to see it!  Seriously?  O yes!  He figures with the money he makes from the tickets sales will help him with the cost to maintain said structure.  He even told me, “Ya Aunt Heather and you can market it for me so everyone pays to come and see my fish tank!”  I guess I’m suppose to market his house size fish tank to get people to buy tickets to support his dream and look at his salt water tank.

Kyle won every prize awarded during the Gutchess Picnic up until this year. EVERY one! Idlewild Park Gutchess Picnic 2004

Actually I’ll give the kid credit.  His plan involves having others pay to maintain his dream ocean on land.  Pretty smart thinking.  And if anyone can do it, it’s Kyle!  Truly neat idea, but my comment was “Why would someone want to pay to see your tank, when they could go to the National Aquarium?”  His comment, “Umm, Ya but mine is going to be really nice and maybe bigger.”  I believe he had a few more thoughts on the subject, but I can’t remember them at the moment.  Could this happen?  Sure!  But I guess I don’t share the same passion for fish tank as does Kyle.  So my attitude toward the idea is mostly in one ear and out the other, or my typical rolling of the eyes every time it’s brought up.  Not that I don’t want to encourage him to fulfill his dreams, because I most certainly do.  I just feel that he has more to offer life, and maybe he will.

To screw with him a little, keeping with the natural behavior of the Piper family, dad and I started to rouse him by saying, we were going to come over to his house with our fishing poles.  Dad said he was going to snag a big fish and fry it up for dinner.  Kyle, being a fisherman, gave dad a big smile but also gave that warning look of ‘You better not touch my fish’.  We laughed over that one, typical Piper humor.

Kyle’s youth group, meeting before their pancake brunch. No matter what, Kyle gives it his all! 2012

Kyle’s house and property and fish tanks are not just limited to single digits, he’s thinking multiple locations. Again, I am happy Kyle has dreams and goals and ambitions.  What really worries me, is what it’s going to take to get him there.  I don’t ever want Kyle to sacrifice his morals, or worse his true descent nature that is the true Kyle, to accomplish said goals.  I don’t want him to forget the big Man upstairs can give him his dreams, but can also take them away in the flash of an eye.  I don’t want his attitude to change, getting too big for his britches.  I guess all I can do is pray and continue to lead by example.

Yikes!  We’ve always tried to teach Kyle by demonstration.  The key word is try.  There have been times when he’s called me out on something, but to be honest, I’ve always showed him that I try to correct my errors.  I think that’s good to show him not everyone is perfect, yet we must still try to strive for good and the right way.  Personally I think that’s the best way to teach a youngster, especially with Kyle. He truly pays attention to our actions and remembers EVERYTHING.  Not to mention he has no qualms about calling us out on ANYTHING.

My opinion, Kyle is already a success in life.  He is a goodhearted, honest, sincere, God loving little man.  As long as he keeps the foundation strong, he should only be more successful and happy throughout life.  God Speed buddy!

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