The future depends on what you do today.

—Mahatma Gandhi

What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?

This question seems simple, but it is very difficult. Adults ask it of children all the time because we are so awestruck with the ease with which they answer, their un-self-conscious certainty that they can be whoever or whatever they want to be. I put this to the test by asking my nieces and nephews under age 11. Here’s a quick rundown of their answers:

My rambunctious two-year-old nephew Zaiden chimed in first with: “Spiderman!” Then he changed his mind a few seconds later and said, “Poo Poo Man!” When my brother, Tarig, ...

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