Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If Everyone Is Special Then No One Is

by Idaho Conservative Blogger (ICB) 
Webster’s definition of Special, “distinguished by some unusual quality; especially: being in some way superior”

As a parent and grandparent I have struggled with this one a bit. As parents we see our children through a bias prism I think. Now this is not a bad thing. We should be our children’s biggest fans, supporters, and despite what government might think, best teachers. We want the best for our children and feel their pain like it’s our own.

Recently Massachusetts high-school teacher David McCullough gave a commencement speech to the graduating class in Wellesley. Some called it a mood killer, some reality check when he said, "Do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not, Contrary to what your … soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh-grade report card … that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you … you’re nothing special."

He said there is an “epidemic” in American parenting of “pampering, bubble wrapping, doting on and congratulating every tiny achievement of children. If everyone is special, no one is." Is he right? Have today’s children lost what generations before them saw and are we as parents responsible? When today’s children volunteer or do good community deeds are they getting the full value of the task or is it just a resume’ enhancement?

McCullough questioned if today’s pursuit of education and adventure was more for feeling special and less about the experience itself. He expanded on Fox News by saying “The more independence we give them, the better off they are. … They need to stumble – so often parents are there to throw pillows on the floor. I took seriously the responsibility of sending these kids of into the world – going out there with an inflatable sense of self is doing them a disservice," he said.

Was this a hard biting dose of reality? Yes. Was a commencement speech the venue for such a reality check? In my humble opinion, what better place could you choose? Yes we parents should be our kid’s biggest fans, supporters, and teachers but we would be remiss not teaching them that the world is a tough place and life isn’t always fair. In America through hard work and not handouts they can be anything they strive to be. Like the saying, the world is their oyster but it isn’t handed to you on a silver government platter. If you want to be special you have to earn it and deserve it. The lazy and unmotivated need not apply for special status, right?

By all means let your children know they are special to you but teach them that to be special to the rest of the world they will have to work hard and prove themselves of value. The world owes me, holding out for a management position, nanny state, entitlement mentality will not make for a successful life. Not everyone can be special because like McCullough said, “ If everyone is special, no one is.”


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4 comments:

jj said...

Have you noticed that Eric Holder looks like a taller, darker Hitler?

Fox Lady said...

One of the really great failures of our current child rearing is that we don’t teach children to cope with the downs of life.

The poorest performing athletic team gets trophies. The poorest performing students get promoted. The trouble makers are praised.

As a result, our kids grow-up physically, but not mentally. At the first sign of failure, they explode because they have never faced failure.

As the article says, they all think that they are special.

Sol said...

Can’t we all just agree to be special together?

We could even agree to all be narcissistic like the anointed one!

Talk about not having a clue!

Mic said...

My Grandson plays in a basketball league where they keep no scores.

No winners and no losers!

What a way to develope character--

They teach this crap in BS 101