“In this world, where even a good man like my old man is going to die screaming, there’s no point in not trying to achieve every f****** dream that I have, because that is my eventual end…Go out and find ‘Why Not’. Surround yourself with ‘Why Not’. Those people that are just like, “Why not!” Like when you tell them – “Hey, man! I’m going to go out and make a movie,” and they reply, “Alright. Why not? Let’s give it a shot.”” | Kevin Smith
So there we were – sitting at the table, eating breakfast. It was me, my mother, my step-father, and all three of my younger brothers. In the midst of me talking about my thoughts about getting a M.B.A., my 17 year-old brother blurted, “I think I want to get a doctorate’s degree.”
Immediately, you could hear silverware fall on the glass plates and see shoulders shifting. It was almost as if he had placed himself in a slide and under the microscope that had enough eyepieces for all 5 of us. Our eyes could have burned a hole through his forehead. If only we had laser vision. We all twiddled our thumbs and questioned him as if we were conducting a naturalization interview. No answer he could generate was going to be sufficient, but he tried anyways.
“A doctorate’s degree?”
“What makes you want to do that?”
“What would you be getting a doctorate’s in?”
“What is a doctorate’s degree (My youngest brother, 13)?”
“You haven’t even graduated high school yet!”
“Student loans would be a hassle.”
We were all taken aback simply because we had always believed that my brother was the one who be the artist that would aimlessly wander in big cities, with no money, searching for fulfillment in anything. A Ph.D.? What a plot twist. We kept the questions rolling, and we made sure to tell him about every single factor and obstacle he had yet to consider. Student loans, time, exams, dissertations and so on. With every opinion, his demeanor shifted dramatically. I could tell that he was making a valiant attempt to remain immovable in his claim. His confidence, like his shoulders, began to wilt.
How dare he aim high!
When I saw his enthusiastic proclamation turn into a deflated notification in less than seven minutes, I grew ashamed. I realized that I was one of the individuals that would deter my brother from his dreams. I immediately wanted the moment back, and every moment before that where I may have discouraged someone’s goals or dreams.
About a year ago, I watched a TEDtalk that starred Kevin Smith. He spoke about how everyone needed to become and surround themselves with ‘Why-Notters’. I never understood that phenomenon until now.
First and foremost: Noah (Or anyone else in my life)! You can be anything you want to be, and I’m sorry for not always being your biggest fan and supporter. I love you dearly, and will help you accomplish anything in this world.
Find, surround, and become something more than doubts. You ought not underestimate the weight and effect of your negativity. Encourage people more. Stop questioning someone’s motives or reasoning to do something. Refrain from projecting your own shortcomings or doubts onto someone else’s dreams and aspirations. It’s not about you. We’re all in this together. Each and every one of us were sent here to flourish. We ought to act accordingly.