I’m too old for this…. stuff…
A few months ago I was watching one of my favourite shows, How I Met Your Mother, and a scene between a husband and wife came on, and I realised it was a great way to explain how we’re raising a generation of wimps:
Marshall: I’m not picking on the kids. I’m picking on the culture of losing around here. I gotta get ’em in shape if they’re going to win that game tomorrow.
Lily: Win? We don’t keep score.
Marshall: What? (incredulous)
Lily: We don’t keep score.
Marshall: You don’t keep sco- What’s the point of playing if you don’t keep score? How do – Lily, what were you doing with this team before I got here?
Lily: I was coaching them. (cut to an image of Lily playing her guitar while the kids ran wild around her, all the while she’s encouraging them to ‘just have fun!’) Because that’s the point of playing, to have fun.
Marshall: No! The point of playing is to win the trophy! And if you don’t know who’s winning who gets the trophy?
Lily: Everyone. Everyone gets a trophy. It’s a participation trophy.
Marshall: It’s like you’re speaking Chinese to me right now.
Cut to the game, after Lily has convinced Marshall to coach her way –
Marshall: Great job guys! At least we’re not keeping score, right? We have no idea what the score is. It could be 53-0, it could be some other score… It’s 53-0!
Kid: What are we doing wrong coach?
Marshall: You know, you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s great that you guys are losing! Because, in life, it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in, or how hard you try, people are just going to give you things! Like diplomas, and jobs and promotions… So it doesn’t matter what you do out there, as long as you have fuuun…
It reminded me a lot of Glenn Beck’s CPAC speech this year:
We need an understanding that life is not fair. It is not fair. The bad guy sometimes wins. Sometimes, O.J. Simpson gets away with it. Sometimes, the big banks fail. Sometimes the good banks fail. Not everybody gets a trophy. What is the point of competing for a trophy if everyone gets a trophy? Please stop teaching my children that everyone will get a trophy just for participating. What is this, the Nobel Prize?
No, that was – that was even beneath me, that was –
Not everybody gets a trophy. We should start correcting our children’s work in red ink again. I mean, I’m tired of – what are we, what are we spin the color wheel now? You corrected my child’s work in red ink. Yes I did. Well that’s a little traumatic. You know what’s even more traumatic? If little Johnny keeps getting these answers wrong, when he goes out into the big, bad world and he’s eaten. That’s worse.
There is some sort of element of competition to life. Oh that’s not natural. Really? Go watch the lions eat the weakest.
And that’s what America is missing right now. The ability and willingness to compete. To even admit that there’s a competition. We say now, oh well, the whole world is going to get together and we’re going to go around the campfire and sing songs – no we’re not. The rest of the world is about to kick our butt. Why? Because we’re not doing the things that make us competitive.
Let’s stop raising wimps, and start raising winners.