Thriving is not achieved through the relentless pursuit of success. It is achieved through time and the freedom to explore. It is achieved through emotional and financial security. It is achieved through support and nurture. We know this and yet it is still one of the most difficult parenting pursuits for Americans. Some of us face very real roadblocks which need to be removed by changed policy. Some of us are so focused on our missed opportunities that we struggle to see how our desire to make sure our kids also don’t miss out might be impacting our kids. Some of us just don’t understand the systemic pressures that are weighing down our adolescents because that pressure just wasn’t there when we were kids.
I want a thriving nation, not a wealthy nation. That doesn’t mean that everyone makes the same amount of money, drives the same kind of cars, and lives in the same size of houses. Instead, I want to live in a nation where physical and mental health are the norm, we are not overworked, and we are able to find satisfaction in our daily lives. This is not a utopian ideal; this is just the pursuit of progress that benefits the majority, not the few.