Off the Cuff Thursday:You Only Get A Ribbon If You Win

This is what is on my mind today.

Self-Awareness.

I’ve been an adult for more than a decade now, but I didn’t officially “grow-up” until I learned to accept my flaws. When I was younger, I could always blame someone else for my bad choices. I was always the victim, and if I didn’t get my way, I whined and complained to whoever would listen until I did.  Now I know that I am responsible for my choices. Sometimes I’m the transgressor, and I can’t always have what I want. And that is okay.

Post Racial?

Since President Obama was elected in 2oo8, I have been hearing and reading about how we as a society have entered into a post racial era. Supposedly, we are all being judged by the content of our character instead of the colour of our skin. Well, you could have fooled me. From my perspective, racism is still alive and well, but since it isn’t as socially acceptable, it isn’t as overt. While people don’t drink from different fountains, and a lot of the black people I know sit at the back of the bus by choice (go figure), we still have to live with being judged based solely on our pigmentation.

(Also, there’s no such thing as “reverse-racism”. There’s prejudice, which people from every ethnicity can be guilty of, but racism is the domain of those who have a ruling majority and in North America, it not people of colour)

On the bright side, you still have your head.

Occasionally, I like to visit the site, richworldproblems.com because it makes me laugh. As a rule, I don’t complain, but on the rare occasions when I do, I am acutely aware that I sound like an entitled, spoiled brat. Yesterday, I was watching a video on YouTube, which led me to a performance by stand-up comic, Louis C.K. He was talking about how most of us live such wonderful lives that we have to make up things to whine about.

Whereas, in the developing world, there are problems like, “I can’t go to school because I’m a girl!”, “Oh, snap. They’re chopping off people’s heads today!”, and “I can’t go home because the army dropped a bomb on my house”. It kind of makes my complaining about having to take the bus to work, rather than getting a drive seem petty and unbelievably selfish.

We Reap What We Sow.

Man, Jesus really liked those farming parables didn’t he?

I have been attempting to live by the principle of sowing and reaping for the past couple of years now. I have successfully eliminated idle gossip from my daily conversation, mostly because it interferes with my enjoyment of life. (Also, I’m kind of self-absorbed, so other people don’t interest me much)

I try to treat everyone I meet with respect, and if  I can’t say anything pleasant, I don’t usually say anything at all. I believe that whatever you dispense is what you will receive in return. No exceptions. A good 80% of the snark that has come my way is a result of all of the snark that I’ve put out there. I can’t expect to grow a rose garden when all I have planted are ferns.

(Sidenote: I just learned that ‘snark’ is an amalgam of the words, ‘snide remark’. Duh.)

Don’t brag about yourself.

My mother always told me to be confident, but to allow other people to pay you compliments. Why? Because no one likes a braggart. I know what kind of person I am, so praise and criticism have the same effect on me. ( I question why the person is paying any attention to me to begin with, and then I either receive it or shrug it off)

Bizarre News Of The Week: Dennis Rodman went to North Korea.

I hate participation ribbons.

We are definitely living in the molly-coddled children generation. The latest attempt to protect the fragile egos of our children comes in the form of not keeping score during sports matches. That goal your kid just scored at the buzzer? Meaningless. When someone scores a three-pointer during a basketball game it will no longer count. Why? Because they don’t want the kids on the losing team to feel bad.

I hate this idea. I hate it because I think kids are already too sheltered. As much as we would like to, we cannot shield our children from the harsh realities of life. One of the most enduring harsh realities: you can’t always win. Kids who play sports know this all too well, and as a result, are better equipped to handle a tough loss. By shielding children from losing, you prepare them for a life in which they believe they’re entitled  to win, regardless of whether or not they’ve earned a victory. That isn’t a reflection of real life.

It sucks to be the team that always loses. However, I would hate to be on a team that has earned the win but  was denied a chance to celebrate out of some faulty sense of fairness. The kids deserve better.

And…that’s all, folks!

Peace,

Erie

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