Money, power, and happiness are the three things most people want out of life. It’s not surprising to strive for these things, but what if you had the option of becoming anything you desired. What if you COULD NOT fail? There are no boundaries, no one or anything stopping you from accomplishing your goal. When realistic and ordinary dreams subside to creative and imaginative fantasies. The possibilities are endless. In Ward 3 of the Washington, 100 people were asked: “What would you do if you could not fail?”
The survey was broken up into four age groups: 7-13, 14-22, 22-27, and 28+. In an area where the average income is more than $100k, the neighborhoods have private school and politicians, and American University is ranked in the top 100 universities. It would seem the residents already have money, power, and happiness. But, the results were varied.
Of the 20 older adults, 11 said happiness, Jessica Whitely, 33, said “Peace. I would want to be in a place where I didn’t have to worry about anything. — financials, where I’m going to live, where my children go to school.”
The older adult group gave realistic answers, for example goals that helped them with everyday life. Of course there were a few fantasies such as Peter Vaskett’s, 42, desire to be the Pope and Frank Hill’s 62, goal to be the person who discovers an alternate universe. For the most part, older adults left the fantasies to the younger people.
Children ages 7-13 gave many different answers. In fact, many of them actually had a few answers to the same question. Brittany McPherson, 12, said, laughingly, “I would see space, and then I would meet God … without dying. I want to cure all sicknesses.”
Justin Classings, 7, said, “I would eat whatever I wanted all the time! Mom doesn’t like me eating Pop Tarts.” Carly Hopkins, 13, said jokingly “To rule the world, world peace, and for dogs to walk on two legs.”
Some children had realistic goals about their immediate future. Brittany Leighton, 12, said, “I just want to be on the cheerleading team. I’ve tried really hard, but I don’t think I’m cut out for it.”
Mary-Lee Brant, 8, answered, “I want to work for the government.” When asked what exactly she wanted to do, Brant said, “I don’t know yet I want to be important.” The children seemed to dream up things that aren’t accomplished easily, but the imagination was expansive.
The young adults in Ward 3 gave very honest and sincere answers. They told of their goals with a few splashes of humor. Michelle Ellington, 20, said, “I know what I want to be, but if failing wasn’t an option, I think I would travel the world and help people. Cancer, AIDS, and poverty wouldn’t exist.”
Surprisingly, six of the young adults said that they wanted love and family. Brian Jessiks, 21, said, “I’ve always believed in love no matter how corny it sounds, but I hardly see relationships that work. I want one that lasts forever.” Nadia Greenson, 18, said, “I want a family that doesn’t falter. It would be nice to have a husband that never left me.” Elena Fisher, 15, said, “I want to live my life to the fullest. I wouldn’t pass up on anything! Now, I think too much. It would be cool if I didn’t have to.” The three friends with Fisher all nodded in agreement.
72-year-old Barbara Williams says, “[It’s] pretty much over now. I’m here just happy that I didn’t fail. Sitting at the park thanking God. Maybe I would live forever.”