Some years ago I mentored a fifth grade child at a local public school in Florida. I volunteered under the presumption that I was going to be helping the child to learn to read; nothing could have been further from the truth. My function, as it was explained to me, was to make the child feel good about himself. This was a 5th grader who was reading at the 5K level and I was supposed to make him feel good about himself. Welcome to the new version of education in the United States!
Fast forward to today and most every little league team has an award ceremony; never mind they didn’t win a game, everyone gets a “participation” award. Several, if not most schools have gotten away from the valedictorian and salutatorian programs and have now gone to a system where no awards for excellence are given so every student can feel good about themselves. In many schools, those who get completion certificates are mingled in with actually study and graduate from high school.
Whether in sports or educational endeavors children are now taught that participation; read “being there,” is enough. The goal of being their best is no longer a reasonable expectation or goal to be aspired to. Giving your very best to any endeavor is never easy; the sad reality is that many of our young people have no idea if this statement is true or false based on their personal experience. Many have never given anything approaching their best. And even more unfortunate, they probably never will! Being average seems to be the new goal, and many children seem to be adapting to that life ambition with little difficulty.
The current socialism movement in the United States can be directly linked to the gimme something for doing nothing mindset that has become so pervasive in our country. Set a pattern of giving kids awards, grades, and status they didn’t earn and you will produce adults who expect the same reward and free ride for merely breathing. Then those who promise keys to the free candy store will always be able to entice people who have never had to shoulder the responsibility of making their own way in the world. The prevailing search for free and easy has produced the likes of Ocasio-Cortez, Gillum, and others who promise free rides through life provided by others.
Unfortunately, this is where we find ourselves today as a nation; a growing movement of pampered, demanding young people who are ill prepared for life and the responsibilities of adulthood. Young people who have to have government guaranteed student loans to attend college; the days of washing dishes to help pay the cost of tuition and books is long gone, as is working during the day and going to night school. These methods of achieving a higher education are antiquated, demeaning, and below the dignity of semi-adult children who have never had to accomplish anything to progress along the human life cycle.
We see the “snowflakes” marching in the streets. We see them being asked questions on television and knowing absolutely nothing about our country. Complicit in this movement are the colleges who take government guaranteed loans, continue to raise their tuition, and cater to drama students; why not, the government is paying.
Most of these dearies would never consider serving in the military or doing anything that might require some level of risk or personal sacrifice. I have observed this privileged mindset in my own extended family; lots of healthy boys, not a one who has even been in the Boy Scouts and certainly aren’t going to get their hands dirty in the military.
When I was seventeen, I was walking around airplanes carrying a machine gun and guarding aircraft. Many seventeen year old kids today can marginally go to a public bathroom without mommy, daddy, or a chaperone guarding the enterance door.
When we have another war, and wars are cyclic, like the weather, so there will be another, and when it comes it will have to be fought by drones and robots. Our young people would want to use Glow Blue Ping Pong Ball Shooter Moon Blaster Guns and marshmallows for ammunition. God help us!
If you stay home this Tuesday next and allow the perpetually dependent class to determine the future of our country; you deserve what you get.
Have a good week. Bill Shuey is a freelance writer in Quincy, Florida.