June 20th, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I’ve gotten wind of something called the Wimpification of America. Have you heard this? Not sure who coined the term, but sounds like a reaction to the smothering of kids with too much care. Coddling. I guess there are people out there who advocate things like not keeping score in soccer games and not handing out grades in school. Their reasoning being we need to shelter our children from the trauma of loss, of failure. I suppose if you let them, they’d get rid of all forms of measurements. No child would be overweight. None slow. Every kid would be smart. Everyone, musical. Not true. And you don’t have to tell a kid that. They already know.
“Make up your mind, dude! Which is it? Do we tell them they’re great? Or do we tell them the truth?” Fair question. It’s complicated. As parents, I’m suggesting we have to wade through the complexities to be able to tell them both – the truth that they are great.
By All babies are beautiful I’m not saying, “Everyone wins.” What I am saying is that though things like winning, being pretty, or getting an “A” are meaningful, they are not close to as important to the measure of greatness as are other things. Dr. King put it well when he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I don’t think he meant that the color of their skin was irrelevant. It was just not as important as the content of their character. Had we ordered those properly, we would have seen that they were every bit as great as any other child. Love, Trust, Humility, Honesty, Mercy. These being foundations upon which we build Courage, Perseverance, Generosity, Kindness.
I find that very young children are closer to this truth than us who’ve grown to forget it. We’ve lived too long in a world in which the most, the best, the strongest is everything. To be able to tell our kids the truth that they are great, we need to adjust more than they. And the littlest ones can help us with that adjustment. In a world that incessantly says otherwise, they can help us order our values aright.
And by trying to rid ourselves of them, aren’t we really saying these measurements are everything? Our kids don’t believe that. Neither should we. Hey, no wimps here.