American society has, in my lifetime, become one that celebrates the average. I don’t get it, and it infuriates me.
When I first started playing sports, the kids on the best three teams got trophies. Then, later, everyone got trophies because “nobody was a loser.” That is a stupid phrase. Almost every game has a winner and a not winner. A not-winner is the loser and there is no shame in losing.
This concept carried over into school. Kids who could barely read matriculated with the ones who could. Students that struggled with basic mathematics were still sent on to algebra. Because if you struggle with multiplication, algebra will be a snap. Fucking ridiculous.
It has created a generation of people who have taken this concept into the business world, as well. We have people who expect to get paid just for walking in the door and a raise no matter how good or how shitty they work. In response, a lot of employers have stopped giving raises or give out a small raise to everyone because it is easier than dealing with these entitled bastards.
You know what? It’s bullshit. We have taken away people’s need to improve and replaced it with the idea that they don’t have to improve to get one someone else gets. They just have to show up. We’ve created a generation with a “why bother?” attitude. Why try harder, why study longer, why innovate, why do something different if we celebrate everything the same?
We wonder why other countries are kicking are asses in almost every field and blame the government when the first place we should be looking is at ourselves. I have seen parents scream at a coach because their kid didn’t get to play as much as I did. I practiced, I trained, I played hard, their kid sat on her ass. They put the lazy kid in the game. I’ve seen parents flip out because their kid didn’t get a martial arts belt when others did. They went home with a belt the kid didn’t earn. In high school. A dyslexic friend’s mother got her put into regular classes instead of classes that would help her learn to read. To this day she cannot read.
The reality is this: Not everyone is good at the same things. Not everyone succeeds at everything they want to and having a passion for something doesn’t make you good at it. I would love to be able to draw, but even after classes, I can’t. I shouldn’t be hired as a sketch artist. I suck at math, I shouldn’t be an accountant. I am a crappy pilot which is why I am not one professionally. There is a long list I will happily admit I suck at because I am proud of the things I do well.
We should celebrate actual success and help people find a path they enjoy and excel at, not promote mediocrity. And if you are one of those parents who stands and screams “why isn’t my child (insert thing here)” try watching them. Most of the time, the issue is theirs. Try playing with them, try teaching them and helping them get better. Otherwise all you are teaching them is they can get what they want by bullying and screaming instead of hard work. Good job, asshole.