Friday, January 21, 2011

Celebrating Mediocrity

So, when exactly did we become a nation that celebrates mediocrity while ignoring true achievement?

Why is it that many high schools no longer honor their top graduates with the title of "valedictorian" for fear of making others feel bad?

Why don't we keep score at soccer games anymore?

Why is everyone put on the team and given equal playing time, regardless of ability?

Why are those who barely do what is expected of them congratulated, while those who excel are ignored?

SOMEONE help me understand when and why this happened!

What happened to competition, excellence, working hard, and being recognized for ACTUAL achievements?

This is called life. There are winners and losers. People who work hard, have natural ability, and maybe a stroke of luck, will usually make it big and accomplish great things. Those who are lazy or incapable or don't care - won't.

So WHY are we teaching our children that everyone is inherently the same, that competition is bad, and that being the best isn't something to be proud of?

I think this new found socialistic idea of celebrating mediocrity and ignoring excellence is not only ridiculous and unfair, it is also harmful to our children. We are showing them that everyone wins, that hard work and talent isn't rewarded, and that as long as you just "try your best" that's ALWAYS going to get you everything you want.

Yet we all know this isn't true. This is America. Hard work, talent, entrepreneurship, and being the best at something do pay off. Raising our children in such a way that everyone is a winner and those barely doing what is expected are celebrated does nothing but undermine the very values our society is built upon.

Guess what? Getting cut from a team because they weren't good enough isn't going to kill them. It's going to make them tougher, practice harder, and want it even more. Or it's going to make them realize they want to focus their energy on something else.

And those students who truly do excel in school deserve to be recognized. Kids who are barely meeting minimum requirements should realize they are doing what is expected of them and work harder. Children who exceed those requirements and go above and beyond should see the rewards of that effort.

Do we really want to raise a generation of kids that see no point in giving their best effort and excelling in these, academically, physically, or otherwise, because there is no incentive to do so? Do you know what that would do to this country? We would have no new technology, great political leaders, or Olympic athletes, because there would be no incentive for people to work hard and achieve greatness.

Maybe it's time we stop worrying about everyone's feelings and focus a little more on reality.

People win. People lose. Competition is what makes people better and stronger.

I want my son to know what it feels like to lose. It will teach him humility, patience, and that you have to work really hard to achieve your dreams.

But I also want him to know the feeling of winning and being recognized when he truly does excel.

Taking that away from him is an injustice, not just to him, but to the principles our country is built on.


  1. I totally agree with you! Great post.

  2. Amen. Choosing not to celebrate an achievement to "spare the feelings" of those who didn't achieve (for whatever reason) does nothing good for anyone.

  3. I 100% agree with you friend! This is such a big issue as far as I'm concerned! In the era of helicopter parenting we have created a generation of entitled children who have no idea how to succeed in the real world. It is mind blowing to me!