Saturday, May 22, 2010

Childhood dreams

Jordan Romero, a beaming American boy, holds the American flag in his stretched hands. The picture was taken at some peak in Indonesia, and now he is climbing Mount Everest accompanied by his father and three sherpas. At 13, he hopes to become the youngest person to climb the highest peak in the world. Someone could say: what better icon for the American dream of making it - with guts and determination - to the very top? Except that now kids from around the world are rushing to tackle superhuman challenges, with solo navigation around the world being the most common choice. The young climber, of course, blogs about his exilarating experiences. He recently wrote: "Every step I take is finally toward the biggest goal of my life, to stand on top of the world." You must admire this unchildish focus and dedication. And yet, what happens to you when you reach the highest goal of your whole life at 13? It must be all downhill from there. Peaking too early in life is not always the best strategy, but I do hope it will work for Jordan.