Limitations are limiting

November 10, 2022

People are born with limitless potential. Everyone has the potential to live and do whatever they choose. Parents and family shape a child’s mind and often unwittingly place limitations inside the child’s mind. The goal in life is to live to the fullest. Yet, many people have already been cut out of the game because of limitations placed in their minds.

“The mind is a terrible thing to waste.” This was the slogan of the United Negro College Fund for decades. The slogan referred to African Americans not being able to attend college because of financial restrictions. This saying can have deeper implications for all people. Are people using the full potential of their minds in U.S. society or any society? A mind can have a college education and still be wasted. One of the biggest obstacles to perfecting a mind and a person’s potential is mental limitations that have been accepted as normal.

A person in 2022 is faced with all sorts of expectations from others and themselves. The problem is that people have limits that have been set in their minds by parents, friends and society. For instance, people are told that they are too old to do certain things or pursue certain careers. Is there a such thing as being too old to do anything in the USA? You have elderly people still working or participating in sports. If an elderly person can do physical things why can’t a middle- aged person change professions or join the military? Limits set by society, and, more importantly, placed in a person’s head, hinder these aspirations.

What if there were no hindering thoughts to stop people from achieving their goals? What if people did not think that they could not perform certain tasks because they were not born on the right side of the tracks? When a child is growing up many directives given by parents are what they cannot do. Why not focus on what children can do? These limits come on every level down to simple things. For instance, for years many African Americans thought playing quarterback in football was a white person’s position. Why? Limits were placed in many adolescent African American minds.

These minor limitations placed in children’s heads often grow into major ones that shape a person’s life. This societal problem with limitations is not a color issue. Of course many limitations do apply to color in the USA. Those limitations are not a part of this discussion. Let’s talk about the limitations that tell a person that they may fail in life if they do not conform to society’s norm. I do not mean doing illegal activities. I mean the limits placed on the creativity of an individual; the fear limits that make a person doubt themselves because no one around them can understand their vision. You see this daily in education. A student who does not fit into the cookie-cutter education system is often shunned, and possibly failed.

The average person in the USA has so many limitations inside their heads until they do not even notice them. These limits lead to fears that keep people from reaching their true potential. U.S. citizens have to start reaching their full potential if the USA is going to keep pace with other world powers. That will not happen with the current set of limitations in the heads of the majority of U.S. citizens.

Frank James IV © 2022

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or HT Group, LLC, its staff or management. “Being Frank” is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.