Natural blondes with natural talent

Kirjoittaja on New Yorkissa varttunut ja Helsingissä naisistunut copywriter.

Dear Lissu,

That letter makes me feel sad for the Finns. Collectively, the Finns have a lot more than we do, including a better educational system, a better health care system, better licorice and better hockey players. Individually – well I’ve never met a Finn I didn’t like. And let me tell you, I’ve met A LOT of Finns. And if nothing else, look how much money we spend in this country to get blonde hair!

But seriously, I think that both sides kind of miss the point.  It’s just plain nuts to raise kids to make them feel ”inferior” because someone else is ”better”. It’s also nuts to raise kids to feel ”superior” because they have 100 cashmere sweaters, a 17 room apartment and rich parents, or even if they have a talent – dancing, singing, painting, ski jumping, math, whatever.  And to prove this point to the world, God made Lindsay Lohan.

I really believe that the trick is to raise someone to wants to be the best he or she can possibly be at whatever it is he or she is passionate about doing.  Everyone has strengths.  Everyone has weaknesses.  My brother has explained the stock market to me probably fifty times.  My accountant has explained my taxes to me probably fifty times.  Sorry – I just don’t get it.

I think this is the trick.  You have two kids.  Tell them both that their artwork is beyond gorgeous, that they were wonderful in the school play, that they can dance and sing.  I guarantee one of them will be great in math and lousy in history.  One will find history fascinating and not understand why or how two plus two equals four.

When you were a little kid and having trouble with your eye-hand coordination in gym class, I told you: “You have to do your best in what you are worst in.” You did, and it wasn’t long before you brought home a diploma saying you had made great improvement in your “Ball Skills”. Hopefully you’ve taken those good ball skills with you into adulthood. You do have two kids, so I can only assume they’ve come in… handy.

So come on Finns, learn to see the great stuff in others. Let other peoples’ lights shine on you, not blind you.  Make this your anthem.  When I listen to it, I do realize that I can’t sing worth shit – but dammit, I AM going to keep on singing anyway.

Love, Mom