I really think that we have done our children an injustice and in the process have hurt society. Since the hippie years of the 60’s a lot of parents have raised their kids with unrealistic expectations of what they can do and how the world should treat them.

I really think that we have done our children an injustice and in the process have hurt society. Since the hippie years of the 60’s a lot of parents have raised their kids with unrealistic expectations of what they can do and how the world should treat them.

 

I say a lot of parents because it’s not all, but enough to cause a ripple effect that permeates everything in society. These parents tell their children that they can do anything that they want to do and that everyone is equal. Both suppositions are just outright false and believing them negates an actual reality.

 

Couple this with the “everyone is a winner” and the ever popular “participation trophies” for everyone, and you have a recipe for failure – at some point in time in life. Guess what, life is not fair. Let me repeat that – life is not fair. Never has been and never will be. This is a fact and not really open for debate.

 

Put all these things together and we have a “soft” society that doesn’t deal well with disappointments and inconveniences. We have far too many people who try to regulate and control things so that people don’t have to face the realities of life and its turns and twists. We have made life too easy – or at least some are doing their best to do that.

 

Hence the rise of socialism in the left wings of the Democratic party. No longer is that a word that is hidden with code words and populistic catch phrases. Nope, many are now embracing that term and all that it brings. Of course, there isn’t any real substantive thought behind their plans. Oh wait, I forgot – tax the rich and we will pay for everything everyone needs to coast through their life with no problems.

 

I kind of digressed from my opening paragraph so I will now go back. What’s wrong with telling our kids that they can be anything that they want to be? Isn’t that the American dream – that all men are created equal and we can do anything we want if we just put forth enough effort?

Wrong. We can’t be anything we want and not realizing that can stifle us from being what we could be. As a kid, I loved baseball and dreamed of playing professional baseball. I guess I could have if I had been a faster runner, had a stronger arm and was a better hitter. Besides that I had everything else covered.

 

Pretty quickly I came to the realization that regardless of my desires, I just didn’t have what it took for me to play baseball – even at the high school level. If I had attached myself to that dream at the exclusion of everything else then I would have been a failure.

 

My parents taught me that no one was better than me and that I was not better than anyone else (as a person). And I remember my mom telling me “no guts, no glory” when we were playing gin rummy. They never discouraged me from trying things and didn’t try to protect me from failing.

 

You often times learn more from failing than you do from succeeding. And, I failed in some things and succeeded in others. But, as they say, it is not how many times you fall down, what’s important is how many times you get up.

 

But, as a society we now want to protect everyone from the heartbreak of failure by changing the rules to let everyone win. That’s not how life works – there are winners and losers and the sooner we understand that the quicker we can go on with life.

 

And what about the supposition that everyone is equal? Just not true. Back to my baseball analogy, there were a lot of kids (okay, most kids) faster, stronger and better than me. In high school we all had the equal opportunity to go out for the baseball team but the better players won a position on the team. Fact of life – get on to your next opportunity.

 

I believe that everyone in this country should have an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams. That is what Jefferson meant when he penned the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

 

I don’t think for one second that Jefferson meant that everyone was equal but rather that we were equal in the eyes of God and each of us should have the right for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

 

Government cannot make everyone equal but can insure everyone the equal right to pursue their dreams and the right to fail. That is what we have subverted.

 

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News