When did it become the norm

for us to tell children that, when it comes to competition, no one is better than they are? If that were true why doesn’t the NFL contract every football player in college, instead of the best? If that were true why doesn’t MIT recruit you or me, instead of brilliant scientists?

I understand nurturing. People (of all ages) should be encouraged to develop their talents. I understand compassion. You certainly don’t want anyone (regardless of age) to feel like they’re a “loser”.

But if every child competitively involved in an activity receives an award or prize – regardless of their performance – where’s the fairness in that? Sure, it makes the average-performing kids feel wonderful, but what about the ones that EXCELLED? Will this practice prove harmful to those that “shine”? Are we doing a disservice to them? Will the exceptional, bright kids fail to see the logic in cultivating their own light?

light
n. a person’s opinions, standards, and abilities (talent, skill, intelligence, knowledge, understanding)

All of us have a place in the world. We all have talents, no matter how trivial they may seem to others. We’re good at some things, and not so good at others. But it’s foolish to ignore the fact that there are people all over the world who are smarter than us, stronger than us, or who can perform a given task better than we can.

There are a great many problems in this world. The world still needs (and will continue to need) people who ARE exceptional. To solve the larger issues facing this planet, THEY will be the ones we will turn to.

ℳ –

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