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There should be winners and losers

By Staff | Jul 1, 2016

By Sara Davis

Columnist

This morning on my commute to work, I caught a little bit of a morning show talking about how the world has gone “soft” on the younger generations. They were talking about how now in some schools across the country they won’t be having a valedictorian or salutatorian anymore because it makes some of the other students feel left out. What? Is this for real? Listening to just a few minutes of this made me think about our world and how much things have changed even since I was in school. What is happening?

I remember being able to bring homemade snacks to school and share them with everyone. I remember playing kick ball in P.E., I remember when there was a winner and a loser to a game. Today, things aren’t like that anymore. When children take part in an event they all get a “participation award” because they don’t want anyone to feel left out. What ever happened to winning and losing? I think it is really important for children to learn that someone or another team might be better at something then they are. Why are we treating losing as something that is bad? Why can’t we use it as a tool to encourage children to try hard or work harder next time? Why do we teach our children that it is a bad thing to lose, why don’t we teach them to be good losers and that they won’t always win and that’s ok. Why don’t we teach our children that everyone has their own skills that they excel in and that we can’t all be good at the same things in life? Personally, I know that I am horrible at math and I had to work really hard to get good grades in math; but on the flip side, I didn’t have to work as hard in English. If I didn’t work hard at math I didn’t get a good grade, no one handed us good grades or participation awards. We had to work for our grades and when we worked hard and earned the good grades we had the satisfaction of knowing that we earned it. When our class graduated, we had a valedictorian and to be honest, they deserved that honor. They got better grades than the rest of us and they earned the honor of getting recognized for their hard work. Why in the world would we take away something like this so that no one feels “left out”? Why can’t we just accept the fact that one person is better at something than the rest of us? Why is that a bad thing?

If I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer I couldn’t get to the podium by just “participating”I would have to work really hard to get there. No one in life will just give you a job because you show up for an interview. You don’t get a raise at work just for showing up every day, you need to work hard and show dedication to your job and improving yourself to get that raise. Why all of a sudden do we think that we all need to be treated the same? We are not all the same. It is that simple. Some of us are better at some things than others. That is life.

I am not saying that our generation was perfect, but things have sure changed and I don’t quite understand how this works. When these children that are always given things enter the “real world”, how will they deal with the fact that no one is going to hand them everything? Who is going to be a leader in their generation when they have always been taught that we are all the same? We were not put on this earth to all be the same, we are all very different and that is a good thing. We are all human and we all have feelings. I understand that no one wants anyone to feel bad, but that is also a life skill that we all need to learn to deal with and I am afraid of a world that doesn’t know how to handle their feelings. Life is tough and bad things happen all the time and we are not teaching our younger generations how to deal with those things in the best way.

Davis (formerly Carlson) is the daughter of late Tribune editor/publisher Mark Carlson.

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