The American system of education is under attack. Our test scores don't measure up against other countries. We are ranked 50-whatever in math and science skills compared to the rest of the world. We seem to have fewer and fewer of the top minds. Our global reputation as a country is about as low as it has ever been. Our future itself seems to be in jeopardy.
So how did we get to this point?
I think the biggest reason that we have slipped as a nation is what I call "The Wussification of America." We are raising our kids to be weak, dependent, wusses. Part of the problem is parents, part of it is our education system, and part may even be the government. Sometimes going against what is popular is the most wise direction to take, however.
Everyone seems to agree that changes need to be made when it comes to education. The problem is that the popular changes seem to be going in the direction of making things easier and more comfortable for students, rather than tougher. This is a problem.
There are many examples of this trend. This brings me to my topic for today:
THE WUSSIFICATION OF SPORTS
Sports can teach us great lessons. I consider my participation in sports when I was growing up to be one of the biggest contributors to shaping who I am today. Unfortunately, some of those lessons are not being taught to kids anymore. I probably sound like a cranky old man, talking about how things were better in my day. I can live with that.
Here is a list of some things in sports that have either been done away with, or attacked in the name of saving children from difficult situations:
(1) You can't pick teams anymore. Heaven forbid that people might get picked last. Their lives might well be over.
(2) Booing is now forbidden at some sporting events. Come on. Playing in front of cheers or boos can be good things to learn to handle.
(3) Some schools don't allow cuts. If you are good enough, you make the team. If you aren't good enough, you don't. Deal with it.
(4) There is a push for rules for equal playing time in high school sports. What's next, a redistribution of wealth? This is still America. You should get what you earn. Winning should still be high on the list of priorities. If the outcome of the game has been decided, then and only then do the people at the end of the bench have a reasonable gripe about not getting into the game.
(5) Everyone automatically gets a trophy. See my earlier post.
(6) Some sports are now forbidden at recess in some places. A school in New Jersey even took this a step further and banned all balls and the game of tag at recess (out of fear of injury to the kids). This decision was made fun of recently on Saturday Night Live. Kids get hurt sometimes. It's part of growing up.
Life can be tough. The more we teach or kids to deal with this reality, the better off they will be. Trying to protect them from every possible negative experience hurts them much more than it helps them in the long run.
This is the end of my Wussifciation of America series (for now). Hope you enjoyed it. Do your part to help reverse this trend.
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