Arthur Leipzig, Red Rover 1950
We tried our best to be among the winners and learned to get up, dust ourselves off and try again if we ended up among the losers. After all, there could only be one winner in most contests.
Contrary to what seems to be the current sentiment this did not send us to therapy or crying to our mothers. This phenomenon of trying to make everyone FEEL like a winner, to me, seems pretty insulting.
When did we as a nation and a population decide that never failing anyone was the best course of action?
Is the end game of all this grade inflation, ego stroking, unwarranted-praise-giving nonsense to build up self-esteem? The premise of that is asinine. Unless you are looking to build a generation of men and women who think they are amazing, not because they did anything amazing but because their Participant's Trophy says so.
Is there any better feeling in the world than battling through something, learning something, doing something difficult and finally succeeding?
Where would we be as a nation, as a people, had we not struggled to accomplish and contemplate ways to do the impossible?
Striving to be the best stretches us and helps us grow in unimaginable ways.
How insulting it must be to kids around the country, to be denied the chance to compete and to accelerate in the everyday, right of passage activities we all enjoyed.
How hollow those "victories" must feel.
Many of life's most important and precious lessons can only be learned from the toughest battles.
I am not saying people don't need a hand up now and then or a pat on the back when they are feeling low. That is exactly what we need to be doing to help each other along.
No one likes to fail. It is a fact.
I think if we could all have our way we would all be perfect but it is not in the accomplishment that we attain perfection, it is in the resilience of our spirit and the hope in our hearts.