What would you do if you could have your kid genetically tested to see what he or she might grow up to be someday? Apparently over in China, where a family is only allowed one child, they are using DNA testing to see where a child might excel in order to give them an early idea of where their talents lie. They take the DNA test then the kids go to camp for 5 days and you pay $880 (or whatever the equivalent is over there) and then…BAM…your kid is gonna be a scientist or basketball star or teacher or a lawyer…or a janitor?
Maybe I’m being critical of this process, but I’m thinking this type of testing would LIMIT what your child can do, doncha think? I mean…what if the testing is wrong? What if they take their blood samples and put the kid in camp and observe him/her for a few days and he/she is…say…5 years old and all he/she wants to do is talk to him/herself and play with ragdolls? What then? Is your child on the fast track to mediocrity? Is he/she not worthy of a college education because, quite frankly, he/she is one notch above gerbil status and should be put in a box with some hay and a few toys with bells in the center?
I don’t get that.
Why would ANYONE want to know what his or her child is gonna grow up to be? This would immediately put a limit on your child’s potential right out of the gate. So the DNA test says your child SHOULD grow up to be a doctor. So now YOU start putting that kind of pressure on your child to be a doctor when all she wants to do is be an artist. Or maybe the test says your son will grow up to be a star soccer player, and then he goes on to hate soccer and wants to be in the band. Or maybe the test says your kid is kind of “not smart” at all and should grow up to be the local town idiot. What then? Do you give up and just say to hell with it and not give the child all the attention or schooling that he needs to grow to be a better person? All because of some test he took when he was 8? I don’t think so.
We need to be careful what we wish for. If we were meant to know what we are in store for, don’t you think it would be obvious. Part of the good stuff about life is the NOT knowing. If my parents had known at the age of 6 that I would grow up to be a guy who works on a computer that puts graphics on television, do you think they would have thought, “Cool!”
I doubt it.
More than likely they would have forced me to become a farmhand and learned a trade where I could actually earn an income someday.
But that didn’t happen because my parents allowed me the freedom to find out for myself what my life was gonna be like. I was allowed to be successful at whatever I wanted and when I failed, I learned. I was not “book smart”. If I had been, I sure as hell wouldn’t be doing what I’ve been doing for over 20 years. Instead, I was allowed to pick an occupation that I love and have enjoyed doing, even if it hasn’t paid well at times. So what if I knew at an early age that I wasn’t gonna be “book smart”? Would that have been my out? Could I have just told my teachers, “Hey. MY DNA test told me that I wouldn’t get any of this stuff. Can I go play now?” How would that have worked?
Anyway, I find it amusing that millions of Chinese want to know what their child’s future holds. I think the fun is in the NOT knowing. This way, it’s a surprise around every corner. Then with every success or every failure, there is something learned and the child grows from that. But to want to know at such an early age how smart or how dumb your kid is gonna be is just plain stupid. And it limits the child’s TRUE potential…
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