everyone wins…

is one of those ideas that’s passed around as gospel among the young people of today…

unfortunately, it’s a lie…everybody doesn’t win…in fact, you might not win anything over the span of your entire life course…that’s a fact…

just the other day…i had a student say…

hey, mr. d., i think we should all get prizes…

[she said this as i was announcing the prize winners for a game we had just completed (the game is called ‘bomb squad’, otherwise know as “jenga”…and we played it for one short class session a week for several weeks)]

she doesn’t realize it, but saying this to me is like throwing me a softball to hit…i’m gonna ‘launch it’, you know…because she’s right in my wheelhouse…

so, i respond…

what do you think happens when you apply for a job?! what do you think happens when you interview for a job?!  you think everyone who applies for a job gets an interview?! you think everyone who gets an interview gets the job?! you think everyone who gets a job gets a promotion?!

this is not just a game, these are life lessons, sister…so, no, not everybody’s gonna get a prize…if you win, you get a prize…if you lose, you don’t…this is training for the real world…

she smiles and nods…and sees my passion…

i can see that she doesn’t get it yet, not completely, anyways–someday she will…

i wish i could say that she was the only student i had that thinks like this…she’s not…in fact, most of the kids that come through my door think this way, they expect to get something…it’s that ‘entitlement factor’ coming through again…

dr. david walsh and dr. leonard sax…two smart guys i respect and look up to…will tell you the same thing about kids today–importantly, it stems from parents and educators and other caring adults “trying to do good”, from trying to build kids up…specifically, kids’ self-esteem and self-confidence (it originated back in the late 70’s and 80’s…and has continued all the way up to today)…but, at the end of the day, what it teaches kids isn’t really something that we want them to be learning…the good feelings that they get when they get something in that way doesn’t build up self-esteem and self-confidence…more like, selfishness and greed…the good feelings that they get when we reward them for absolutely nothing are fleeting and fragile and false…

but, what can you expect from getting something for nothing?!

as i watch the students leave my room…i think about that short speech, which lasted 3 minutes…reflecting on it, i’m pretty sure it was the most important thing i taught them in the last two months (at least)…

we need to bring disappointment back…

it’s something we should be teaching our children (regularly) in our homes and schools across the country!

“when you find your path, you must not be afraid. you need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” – paulo coelho

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