Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The last place trophy

How many more times are we going to say to our children, or our students, "Great job, you got a 50!"? "Wow, you came in dead last! Awesome, you rock!"

There is, and has been a mentality that there are no losers. I'm all for that - no one should be called a loser for TRYING. No one should be made fun of. FOR TRYING. Yes? I think we understand that. However, there is a distinct line in the sand when it comes to defining a "job well done", deserving of a good grade or high commendation, and a "half - ass" job, with little or no effort put in. What I make of this is that we all of a sudden have a new generation emerging - the "Entitlist" generation.
Look, I am a recent college graduate. I landed a good job, actually two, soon after I graduated. I consider myself lucky. But let's not forget- my being hired twice already is a reflection of my merit, not the color of my skin, or another similar deciding factor. Back to my point. I can't stomach the typical college student - and this may be a broad generalization- that wants to save the planet by wearing Birkenstocks and riding a bike to work, and never misses an opportunity to lecture you on how you are a hater, bigot, racist, capitalist loving homophobe. But this same person does not declare a major, and decides to either use their college education to "find themselves" and out they come with their liberal arts degree. (I did not capitalize because in my humble opinion, that does not constitute a college education, much less warrant a degree from a so called institution of higher learning.)
OK, out into reality we go. Two choices: stay for another degree, or look for a job. Either is a personal decision - I get it - and I chose the former. But that was my choice, and everyone should chose wisely. Wisely. That is the key word here. Now, what the hell can you do with a degree in liberal arts? Is it a resume builder? A standout in the giant pile of other job applications? Hmm...don't think so. So now we have the same person who was told, "It's OK if you fail your tests, come in last place every time, dress like a clown, speak like an ignoramus, and don't like to bathe on a regular basis. It's OK."
News flash- there are thousands of people walking around out there, who were spoon fed this mentality, and it has produced a certain type of individual. One who will reason with a child instead of teaching discipline, one who will blame the process and not the product, one who will avoid work to gain success, and finally, one who will be granted something they are unqualified and undeserving of.
I always thought that if you worked hard at something, you would get what you wanted. It may not happen instantly, but just putting in the effort was something that was part of the pay-off. I find myself in a minority today. Look, I'm no preacher, and I'm not going to say it wouldn't be great to win the lottery and not have to work anymore. But the path that I take - work, and then get - is no longer what is "mainstream". The "Entitlist" must have everything, now, without putting in the work. Sorry people, but I don't buy it, and I never will. You want something? Go get it. And if you come in last place, it's not "Great job!" It's "try again, and you will get it."

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