Have you noticed how we over embellish? Things can't be awesome anymore, they have to be totally awesome, super awesome, or mega awesome. Something can't be amazing, it has to be flat-out amazing, unbelievably amazing, or incredibly amazing. And I can't be just excited for you, I have to be super-duper excited, awesomely excited, or amazingly excited.
In a world where every kid gets a trophy for participating and is indoctrinated with the idea that they're special because they're breathing, we have to embellish things to drum up excitement.
Don't get me wrong, I think every child is special and unique, I just don't think every one of them has the chance to be an Olympic athlete or movie star because, "If (they) believe it, (they) can achieve it." Since we don't want to crush their spirits, we keep telling them they can do it, they can do it, they can do it. Again, I'm all for not crushing a child's spirit, but I'm also a proponent of reality. One of the reasons my parents paid for every type of lesson I or my siblings expressed any interest in pursuing was because they believed kids needed lots of opportunities to find one place where they could shine.
Not become a mega star, just shine.
We have bought into the notion that something must be extraordinary to be good, and it's killing our kids. The alarming suicide rate in our army is no secret. Many attribute it to the longest war in our history with it's seemingly unending deployments, but within the army another reason is beginning to be floated: young soldiers have no resiliency. They have been cushioned from loss, protected from failure, and coddled when they fall. When they get into the real world where relationships break up or they don't get selected for special forces, they have no coping skills and commit suicide.
To be ordinary or average is no longer acceptable; it's a death-knell.
This Christmas, I wish for a return to ordinary. I wish for people in ordinary jobs to take pride in their work, for those who land in the average category to be content to shine at something, and for children to be content with doing their best instead of needing to be the best.
Until next year,