As a foster parent, I have many kids coming through my house.

“Thunder” by Imagine Dragons is one of the few songs that I have stopped and explained the meaning of it to my kids.

Being foster kids, and being kids in general, they are under a lot of pressure and perceptions by other people.

I want my kids to know that they can and should pursue their dreams, no matter what other people tell them. “Thunder” speaks to that.

The lines that usually stick out, and that I explain, are these:

Kids were laughing in my classes
While I was scheming for the masses
Who do you think you are?
Dreaming ’bout being a big star
They say you’re basic, they say you’re easy
You’re always riding in the back seat
Now I’m smiling from the stage while
You were clapping in the nose bleeds

Throughout our lives, people will try to tear us down. They will tell us to be like everyone else. Tell us to do the “normal” thing. Tell us that we shouldn’t pursue our dreams. Tell us that they are unreachable.

Often, mediocre is the normal. When you go for gold and pursue your dreams, you can make others feel uncomfortable.

I make sure my kids understand that there will always be people who will try to bring us down. I also tell them to ignore them.

 

Don’t Be SNIOPed

Who do you think you are?
Dreaming ‘bout being a big star?

Don’t be SNIOPed by other people –susceptible to the negative influence of other people. There will always be people to tear you down. Don’t listen to them. Pursue your dreams!

 

Your Background Doesn’t Matter

I remember having one foster kid that I had for a very short period. I went to the library with her to pick out some books (I didn’t realize she was leaving so soon). We asked the librarian for help, and she began leading us to some books that my kid wanted.

As we were walking and talking, in the conversation, my kid said “But I’m just a foster kid”.

The librarian spun around, looked at her, and said, “Oh, honey, you aren’t ‘just’ anything!”

I want my kids to know that they aren’t “just” anything. They aren’t “just” a foster kid. They aren’t “just” rich or poor.

It doesn’t matter about their background, who their parents are, what school they went to, how many foster homes they’ve been to, how much money they have, none of it!

They can and should pursue their dreams.

Along with faith, this is one of the biggest messages I want my kids to receive.

 

Have You Let Other’s Stop You?

What about you? Have you let others’ opinions tear you down? Have you allowed yourself to believe that your dreams aren’t attainable?

Don’t let other people’s opinions and ways of thinking rule you.

There will always be people to pull you down. And, as you move up, more will do so because they see you moving up when they aren’t. They gave up their dreams when you didn’t. Your success shows their complacency, and they want everyone else to stay where they are to make them feel more comfortable about it.

Don’t give in.

Pursue your dreams. Pursue your goals. Ignore the naysayers.

If your friends are the ones who are discouraging you, change your friends.

Next time you listen to “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons, make sure to pay careful attention to its message.

I encourage you to listen to this podcast by Ken Courtright about being SNIOPed, and stop listening to the negative influence of others.