iamtheshoe muse

... sometimes shoe thinks about stuff ...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

generation neXt excuses for imperfection

i've noticed a trend among young people that i find a bit disturbing. it's been very noticable to me during the olympics but upon reflection i've been hearing it for sometime...especially among professional athletes. what i've noticed is an increase in excuses for substandard or sub-expectation performance. athletics is not the only place i've noticed it. i've heard it from actors, singers (a lot on this season's american idol) and others in the younger generation. almost every story during the olympics includes some background about a former injury, some personal problem overcome, etc. some of them have what i'll call 'good excuses', like the female american downhill skier that had a terrible accident the day before she raced, spent the night in the hospital, and then raced two days later with several injuries. she didn't complain...she went out and did what she went to torino to do...win a medal. unfortunately she didn't win a medal but she gave it all she had.

the neXt generation is marked my a high level of self confidence. that's great, but when they fail they become unrealistic about why they failed. it's always somebody else's fault, or they weren't feeling well, or someone was prejudice against them (i find this one particularly disturbing). the fact is, they just weren't good enough and because they were brought up with everyone telling them how wonderful they are and everyone bending over backwards to make sure they weren't offended, they haven't learned that there's always someone out there better than you and they haven't learned about how to deal with being the loser in a competition. on several occasions on american idol. several competitors blamed the judges for them not getting to the next level. either they were prejudice, or couldn't recognize talent, etc. it seem obvious to me that some folks auditioned just to get on tv, but there were others that had absolutely zero talent but believed they were 'the next american idol'. it's beyond me how some of them could imagine that they could actually compete in the competition. i know it's a tv show and there's a certain level of entertainment that has to be presented. i'm sure we didn't see the bulk of mediocre performers...just the really good ones and the really bad ones. but, some of those mediocre and bad competitors were there because they honestly believed they belonged there. shame on the parents for allowing them to pursue some impossible dream. in the end they just set them up for failure. i'm not saying that parents shouldn't encourage their kids and have them try new things, but to back your kid up all the way to the chopping block is too much. a contributing problem is parents trying to live through their kids...parents, stop that!

we should encourage our kids but also help them be realistic about their abilities and help them assess their strengths and weaknesses. we can help them in their weak areas and maybe they will be a professional athlete, actor, or singer. chances are most of them won't be, so don't chase the impossible dream! be realistic and find your niche. be a contributor to society. stop making excuses for the things you can't do and find that thing you can do better than anyone else or at least the thing you're best at.


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