“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.”
― Joan Didion
Modern day thinking tells us that everyone deserves an award just for showing up, but I believe that deep down inside we all know when we did not do our best, or even try. A lifetime of getting awards simply for showing up I believe wears on our souls.
Why try to succeed if you will be just as appreciated for not trying as you are for working really hard? But deep down those who can look at trophy covered walls, know that they are empty. Not a finger was lifted to get those awards, anybody could have gotten them.
They look back on their lives and realize they can not stand on their own two feet, everything has to be handed to them. That is where desperation springs from.
There are some cases where the person where special consideration is due. There are some people who face greater difficulties then the rest who do deserve an award for things we take for granted. But those people are exceptions to the rule.
We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to help everyone find some area in their life where they are talented and encourage them to be all that they can be. We need to encourage kids to slowly take responsibility for their own life. If they are overweight don’t tell them that it is McDonald’s fault, take them to the doctor, and if they have no medical issues giving them problems encourage them to take responsibility for their own health. Teach them that treats are OK on occasion but they need real food to live off of. Teach them a form of exercise they can enjoy. The gym isn’t for everyone there are so many other ways to get exercise, and many of them are fun.
Teach them the joys of hiking, sports or swimming… If you can look for an organization that encourages kids to take an active part in their community and get exercise at the same time, like cleaning up the local park , or dog walking at the local animal shelter. While patting a kid on the back for just showing up may make them feel good for the moment, in the long run it does them great psychological harm. Instead teach them to be all that they can be. “I DID IT MYSELF!” Feels so much better then “I showed up, now where’s my prize?”.