The Worst Fairytale For Children

As a little kid, I remember when my mom read me the fairytale “Jack and the Beanstalk”. It was crazy to think that a boy could climb all the way up a stalk that touched the sky, fool a giant, and hack away at the enormous weed until it toppled over. I went to bed that night looking up to Jack as a hero. Now, I think he may be the worst protagonist that I ever thought was admirable.

(credit: Wikipedia)

(credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, Jack is being praised for committing a robbery. This is a children’s book that is teaching kids it is acceptable to steal from others as long as you are left with no options. Even the Grinch gave back the presents to the Whos and realized he was wrong, but Jack just murders the person he robbed without any consequences. Luckily, I had a short attention span as a child and didn’t put any deep thought into the “hero’s” actions.

The next grievance I have with Jack is that instead of looking at all his options to help support himself, he bought a bag of magic beans. His future rode on something sprouting out of the ground. Luckily for the character, his obviously superb wits were enough to get him through this story. However, in the real world we all can’t hope for a giant beanstalk filled with treasures and a magical goose. We need to put all our eggs into different baskets of life, not just a single golden egg for one.

I’ll admit that I have looked back at the past and really questioned the decisions I made. I might have been as lost as Jack when I was in high school. Those four years are the times where we can explore ourselves and find activities that interest us. I was always invited to join clubs or go away on trips. Instead, I opted out because my only focus back then was wrestling. I was convinced that it would be my ticket to college and a better life. Unfortunately, I wasn’t like Jack and wrestling wasn’t the golden egg I was looking for. Instead, the beanstalk flattened me as I was left with torn ligaments in my knee and shoulder.

For a few years, I was devastated that my dream didn’t come to fruition. The one thing I put all my hard work into was ripped away from me. Looking back now, it taught me the valuable lesson to not put all my eggs into one basket. I am not saying that you shouldn’t dedicate yourself and work hard toward something if you are passionate about it, but I believe there is so much more than one interest to experience.

Life is about opportunity and seeing all that the world has to offer. I wish I had joined a few clubs or went away more. It would have not only been a great memory, but it could have also been something to fall back on in case wrestling didn’t work out. We never know where our journey is going to take us, but we should broaden our horizons to take in all the beauty as we move forward. Why would you want one golden when you could have baskets filled with more?

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55 Responses to The Worst Fairytale For Children

  1. Your insight had me from the first words. Well written. I believe you’ve found another niche outside of wrestling. I’m glad you’re here.

  2. Amazing and true insight. A lot of people go for that ‘one thing’ and are lost when that thing is no longer an option. Side-note about Jack: There’s a comic book series called ‘Fables’ and Jack is a real jerk. Like epic, moral-less jerk.

    • I’m happy there is one piece of literature that actually shows the true character of Jack. I still can’t believe I thought he was so great when I was younger.

      • Well, they gave him his own series because he was that despicable and people liked that he constantly rose in character then crashed to the bottom again. It was oddly entertaining to see him constantly gain treasure then idiotically lose it.

  3. Very true. I find myself chasing that one dream every now and then when inspiration hits but I have learnt dreams won’t pay the bills unless your lucky like jack. I’ve since then took on a more entrepreneurial stance on how I choose to use my skills and time.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Heather says:

    Yes, most people have a single-mindedness about the direction they want /expect their life to take, it is how we are raised..we go to school, college or university then into the work-force with one career path, a great many people never stray from that path their whole lives, some people, such as yourself have the path changed for reasons beyond their control. When this happens they are lost until a new direction becomes clear…I agree when young, being well rounded, having many new and varied experiences will allow us to do/want more from life than one path…

    • I agree. If we have the opportunity, we should explore as many different interests and avenues of life as possible. You never know what you will find and where life will take you. I’m glad you read and thanks for the great comment 🙂

  5. foolsquest says:

    The first part of this reminds me of a comment from comedian Bo Burnham:

    “Disney movies teach young girls that it doesn’t matter where you come from or how poor you are, as long as you’re really really hot.”

    Great post all around though. I can totally relate to regrets in high school.

    • Disney movies were the first real experience I had with love. Unfortunately, there is no animals singing in real life or a crab that can play underwater coral like an orchestra. I know it hurts to have regrets in high school, but we can look at it positively as a lesson. No matter what point we are in our life, we can make a change and start taking advantage of opportunities we are given. I’m glad you enjoyed your Cup ofJoe and I hope you come back for a refill 🙂

  6. Corina says:

    I’ve also thought differently about Jack and the Beanstalk since becoming a parent. It’s one of those stories where it’s best not to think of the message behind it.

    • I think a lot of parents hope their kids don’t realize what Jack is ultimately doing. A hero in children’s eyes, but a parent’s worst nightmare. Thanks for stopping by and hope you come back to refill your Cup of Joe 🙂

  7. Chrissy says:

    Very sharp post. So true. Cool blog. I will follow. Have a great day.

  8. abumufakkir says:

    Wow a good story to read if I was a kid, and maybe I’ll share with my future kids… But not a good one after this post. Haha.
    Parents hope their kids could dream to become a hero when they grow big… But when the kids grew up, they know its not as easy as Jack, and not a good way to be a hero like Jack’s way… Haha…

    • I always liked to hear this story as a kid. I thought it was great how Jack did all he could. But looking back at it now, I realized there were a lot of wrong messages being taught as well. I hope that kids don’t follow in Jack’s footsteps. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  9. This very true. I love it! 🙂 really gets you thinking!

  10. Eliot Benvie says:

    Wow — you actually have some really valid points here! I agree too that it’s important to participate in a variety of activities and have many interests; that way, you have others to fall back on if one doesn’t work out, like you said. Incidentally, the drama group I’m in is doing “Jack and the Beanstalk” for our pantomime this Christmas!

    • That is pretty cool that the story I touched on is the one you will be performing. I hope I didn’t ruin the play for you. But it’s great to hear someone is not putting all their eggs in one basket like Jack and experiencing a variety of things. It will make you a more well rounded person as well. Thanks for stopping by and reading 🙂

  11. D.L. Kamstra says:

    Wonderful insight. It is so important to seize as many opportunities in our lives as we can. When we let one go, we never know what we might miss out on. I regret not being more involved in activities from high school and college. But I can still appreciate what I gained from the ones I did. Seems “variety is the spice of life” is true after all. That same variety can be reassuring when something doesn’t work out as we hope. There will always be something else to fall back on.

    • That is a great way to look at it. Even though we might not have done what we wanted in the past, it is never too late to make a change and go after what we want now. Thanks for stopping by and hope you come back to refill your Cup of Joe 🙂

  12. mummywho says:

    It’s so funny how life always has two sides. A front and a back. My father always had many interests, and I have the same trait. So my problem is that I never dig deep enough and explore too many options. It resulted in me Feeling like I don’t have a talent or something that I am particularly good at. My problem was to focus… Where you should have gone left, I should have gone right. 😉

    By the way thanks for stopping by and leaving the first comment on my blog! OMG my first comment from a total stranger! Amazing how people get connected nowadays. (Sorry, I am all new to blogging, so I might sound like a granny. But I don’t care) PS I like your writing style! It has perspective from an unexpected angle.

    • Your welcome and I am very new to blogging as well. I only started about two weeks ago 🙂 It’s always great to have many interests and to have one that we are truly passionate about. Think about it this way, would you rather to talk to someone who was really cultured or a present that only knew the stats to his favorite football team. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed your Cup of Joe 🙂

  13. thexenophilediaries says:

    This is great! Like with anything, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. What do you do now?

    • I’m currently applying to schools and working part/full time. In between all that, I am just trying to figure myself out. After high school, I went through some really rough times. But I have decided to make a change in my life and go after my goals. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back for another Cup of Joe 🙂

  14. ax1524 says:

    Wow! Your words. I was only able to read this post and I am hooked. You’re right, it’s like talking to me. It’s like I’ve known you for years.

    I am a person with only a few interest. I dont really go out much and I put all my efforts into my job. This post makes me realize one thing: to always have an option.

    Thank you so much for sharing! Keep posting some more! You clearly have the gift besides boxing. (:

  15. In fact, This is a Grimm Brothers stories. They have never been really nice. Still, I agree with you, this is the worst fairytale for kids. Keep writing, I really enjoy it.

  16. Very true – fairy tales are a sucker punch, with very dubious messages/morality for the most part!! 🙂 🙂

    • I agree. It’s just like some children’s television shows. When we were younger they were filled with messages and jokes that flew right over our heads. I watch some of those shows now I can’t believe they put that into those books and shows.

      • Yes, there are the ‘in jokes’ for adults in comics and so forth too…fascinating how much darkness hides within what we read/show to children…not sure what that says about humanity…. 🙂

  17. cherylfoston says:

    Great post! Yet, another fairy tale bad or song is “Rock a bye baby” listen to the lyrics and it is about child abuse. Putting your baby in a tree top and the bow breaks the baby falls. I don’t think anyone really pays attention to the words….

    • You just blew my mind away. I never thought of that before. It’s crazy how they slip these messages into children’s books/songs/movies and it sometimes blows past our head. I guess I never paid close attention to details as a kid.

  18. grannyK says:

    Another great post! I’m glad I decided to check out your blog! Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go plant some seeds I got today. I won’t bother you with the details on how I got them, though…

  19. silverlining09 says:

    a little truth pointed put… thanks for posting this. just followed you on twitter. 🙂

  20. Saunved says:

    I loved the simplicity with which you put forth what you wanted to say. Engaging. Very engaging!

  21. Lesley Buse says:

    But wasn’t there multitudes of magical experiences in your high school wrestling? You spoke of loving the drives, and it seems to be a theme throughout your writing. Maybe wrestling didn’t
    directly give the golden egg, but like Jack, it took you to places and gave you opportunities you would not have had without that vine to the sky. Thanks for the like. Very interesting posts.

    • You’re correct. I did have a lot of great experiences with wrestling that I cherish and I’m thankful for. I just wish I also had some memories in other parts of life that I never took advantage of. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  22. Loving this! What a great perspective and voice!

  23. louandseb says:

    I like this post! Having read many many childrens books throughout my own childhood and now to my children, with the added influences of Disney, the stories are not as they seem! The magic of fairytales fade as you get older and realise that most of it sadly isnt as innocent as its seems, and as for role models….? Lol
    But they are still fun!!!

    • I still love the movies, but it is so strange to see everything the movie is saying than what I could only comprehend as a kid. Even as an adult, I can watch a Disney movie and be entertained. Thanks for commenting and hope you come back to refill your Cup of Joe 🙂

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