Disturbance at 30,000 feet

February 8th, 2009

This is why I am disturbed by what the kids in my daughter’s third-grade class say when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Famous,” they say.

It’s what disturbs me about me, too.


  1. It’s nice to know you are human too! I loved your article on monastic parenting in the new Shambhala Sun.

    Comment by Kathleen Botsford — February 8, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  2. Okay – I must confess to completing the 25 Random Things survey on Facebook. It was fun. But quite the contrary I do not want to be famous.

    I’d rather be like Enya — talented, recognized for her work but not readily recognizable on the street. Maybe in my next life …

    Comment by Shalet — February 8, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

  3. I’d like to think there is a big difference between “Famous” authors, than the famous idiocy that is quite popular these days.

    (raises eyebrow)at least I hope so anyway. (Hugs)Indigo

    Comment by Indigo — February 8, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

  4. Kids do seem to think that fame is what it is all about. I agree that we all, overtly or secretly, probably want to be famous. Wouldn’t it be great to be “famous” for just being you? Maybe it’s time to redefine what kind of fame we are striving for. Maybe I should be content with my kids enjoying my famous pancakes : )

    Comment by septembermom — February 9, 2009 @ 1:49 am

  5. We all have it in us, to varying degrees sometimes. The children just say it honestly.

    The Breast Implant thing on the Huffington Post really disturbed me. Perhaps because I dislike wearing a bra?

    Comment by Bridge — February 9, 2009 @ 5:23 am

  6. My husband and I were just talking about this very same thing, people striving to be famous. However, we sadly concluded that to be famous is to be held under a microscope with so many people trying so hard to tear you down. I suppose not in all cases but unfortunately in too many cases. To be famous,yet to also be true, humble and wise, among the utter chaos of fame is certainly something difficult to achieve. Perhaps a child could most appropriately fit this role.

    Comment by Erin — February 9, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

  7. “If he cannot stop the mind that seeks after fame and profit, he will spend his life without finding peace.” –Dogen Zenji

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — February 9, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

  8. I will confess to the 25 Random things on FB.

    When I ask my daughter what she would like to be when she grows up, she responds with “teacher and an artist”.

    I reply she already is.

    Comment by Busymomma66 — February 12, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  9. so for the first time, i may disagree… may. maybe i just misunderstand. i think sharing is fun, fine, therapeutic in anywhichway we find to do so regardless if anyone reads. its for you really, right? its been great to learn wacky things about old friends. one of my dearest and oldest said in response to a 25 things: “its great to read something like this about an old friend you havent seen in a while, learn something new, and not be surprised at all.”

    as for fame, (perhaps ironically) well i guess we all just want to be noticed, or loved maybe. perhaps this is what this generation of children is missing with too much TV, internet, overtime, etc and not enough people time.

    Comment by latisha — February 13, 2009 @ 7:29 am

  10. in a restless night hoping i didnt offend, i also wanted to share that my family and i actually did the 25 things live, reduced to 5,around our firepit the other night. it was really fun and touching, everyone got into it even my cynical dad, and we did learn a new thing or two about each other. it prompted us to share in a new way.

    Comment by latisha — February 13, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

  11. Don’t worry Latisha. We all know there is a difference between conversation and self-promotion. In my line of work, it’s easy to tend toward the latter, and that’s where I myself must be clear. As for the kids, it may have always been the case that kids wanted to be famous. But it seems in “the old days” it was implicit that fame stemmed from doing something remarkable, not just from from unabashed self-devotion. And this is what I find disturbing in a culture that creates fame junkies.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — February 13, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

  12. 25 things about me resister here, out of sheer laziness, not lack of wanting a spotlight! I feel like the Dogen Zenji quote you posted pretty much sums it up nicely. Eckhart Tolle has also written a bit about the suffering of the rich and famous…it ain’t all that, apparently. Agree with Latisha that fame might be a code word for love.

    Comment by Leah — February 20, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

  13. Of that suffering, I’m sure Tolle knows firsthand.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — February 20, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

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