Everyone wants to be someone when grows up. I think that the most common question which parents ask their children is: "what would you like to be when you grow up?" You find this question in China, Montenegro, Brazil, Angola, Morocco and Israel. Actually you find this question everywhere. But there is another question, that's what your child is asking you as a parent: "Daddy, when you were little, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?".
A week ago, someone I know was sitting with a group of children and told them what he wanted to be when he grew up. He wasn't just another author and those children weren't just "ordinary" children, he was the Israeli ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Dan Oryan, and those children were the children of the "Ha'Gan Ha'Shikumi", a kindergarten known also as "The Dvora Agmon Preschool Development Center" which provides support services for more then 100 children and infants with developmental and neurological impairments that cause motor, learning and language delays. When Dan told the children that his dream was to participate in the Olympic Games and win a medal the children and stuff were surprised. But when Dan demonstrated his skill and lift up himself on his hand palms I think they stopped their breath for a moment.
We were presenting Dan's book When Dad Grows Up to the children. It is a children book about a young kid who's asking his father, a moment before he falls asleep, if he knew when he was a kid what he wanted to be when he grew up. I met Dan almost two years ago in the Jerusalem international book fair. After meeting him again this year and after he showed me his book and told me that Aleksandar Popovski from Macedonia made the illustrations and that the book was published in Macedonia and Albania, we decided to publish it again in a new edition in Israel. The incomes of the books, both in Israel and Macedonia were donated to children who are suffering from hard diseases. We launched the book at the Jerusalem international book fair last February where Dan was reading the Hebrew version and Mrs. Galia Natur Kadur was reading the Arabic version. Galia was the one who told us about "Ha'Gan Ha'Shikumi". It turns out that Dan didn't dream to become a diplomat serving Israel's foreign ministry, he really wanted to become an athlete. Even today he finds the time to keep his physical shape especially when he is challenging the nature laws while he's jumping up, lifting up his legs in various places and foreign cities. I think that Dan's jumping is demonstrating the human will and his power to overcome spiritual and physical obstacles like those children has.
Dan's book is representing a role reversal because the kid is analyzing his father's dreams and finding the advantages and the disadvantages in each dream. That's the way for Dan and me to speak with children, at the eye level, exactly as I'm doing with my seven and a half daughter who came on the stage during the launching ceremony and read few lines from the Hebrew version of the book and was also in charge of the photography. When Dan finished reading his book to the children he asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up, talking to them at eye level as well. I think that if you were standing with us at that point in the small room with them, your tears were absolutely flooding the room; fireman, policeman or policewoman and even an astronaut were the answers.
This is exactly what I claim all the time, there isn't any difference between all of us when we dream to become someone, the question is how can we unite and concentrate on making good and fulfill our dreams instead of giving up to our other differences and enable them to lead us into extreme corners. Visiting those children and donating them the books was one of the steps to accept the other but also to encourage the "weak" that's nothing can stand in front of his will. Publishing this book and donating its incomes to children in many other countries can be an excellent cultural bridge between states and societies.
Today there are few societies which teach their children violence and other bad behavior, if they adopt good manners and teach well instead of bad they will gain a medal, the medal which Dan deserves.