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.
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?