Have we raised a generation of losers?

Posted on: December 6, 2011

Blogger John Hawkins of Town Hall has an excellent article today on the Problem with the Occupy Wall Street Generation. He rightfully points out that we are raising a generation of kids who believe that there are no winners or losers just everyone who is “special” in their own right.

He points out by saying, “Playing baseball games without keeping score. Parents not allowed to cheer for one side or the other at basketball games. Refusing to use red ink to grade tests because it’s too jarring. No dodgeball. Participation trophies. Telling kids, “You’re special,” without their doing anything to show they’re special.”

News flash to these kids – The world doesn’t owe you a living, a promotion, or any special consideration at all. The people who tell you otherwise are doing it because they think you’re stupid, easy to manipulate, and they want to use you for their own purposes.

He further points out by saying, “I hate to break this to you, but they may have told you a lie. Think back; what did you actually do that was so special? Were you an all-state quarterback? Did you carry your team to victory on your shoulders in a HI IQ Bowl competition? Did you set a state record for selling chocolate bars to support the school band? Those are the sort of achievements that should build self-esteem. That’s because the right way to build self-esteem is by finding something you want to do, becoming better at it than most other people, realizing it, and then feeling a sense of specialness as a result of your accomplishments.

Instead, what we call “building self-esteem” has become nothing more than giving children a false sense of confidence. Oh, little Johnnie, you were born in America! That means the world is your oyster! Oh, you graduated from high school; that’s great! Then you graduated from college? With a degree in Art History? Wow, that’s really amazing! Just stand there long enough and your reward is sure to fall from the sky, wrapped in a bow, right into your waiting hands!”

I couldn’t have said it any better than John Hawkins because he is right. The world is filled with success and failures and once kids understand that you can’t be a winner all the time but have to work for success the better off this world will be.

Thank goodness, I didn’t have progressive parents but conservative, down-to earth parents who taught me that what you sow is what you reap.  In other words, no free rides, not self-esteem building for failures, just being the best you can be and you will succeed.  I have passed this lesson to my sons and they are successful men in their own right.  Let’s stop pandering to our kids and teach them that this world is hard and cruel and you if you want to succeed you have to be tough and resilient. Don’t be a pansy!


1 Response to "Have we raised a generation of losers?"

Hooray for you. As a guy we normally would use another P word to describe these jerks but it would not set well in mixed company.

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