Playing baseball games without keeping score. Parents not allowed to cheer for one side or the other at basketball games. Refusing to use red ink to grade tests because it's too jarring. No dodgeball. Participation trophies. Telling kids, "You're special," without their doing anything to show they're special.
Newsflash: You may be special to God, your mommy, and your teacher just because you were born, but the rest of us aren't impressed.
The world doesn't owe you a living, a promotion, or any special consideration at all. The people who tell you otherwise are doing it because they think you're stupid, easy to manipulate, and they want to use you for their own purposes.
Oh, but what about the lucky ones, you say? The lazy, good-for-nothing punk kids who just happened to be born in the right family and live a life of luxury as a result?
What about them? There's always a little bit of randomness in life. The woman who does everything right and gets hit by a bus before she ever gets her payoff or the guy who does everything wrong and seems to get every break. So what? Is the idea supposed to be that you should have everything you want in life handed to you on a silver platter even though you're lazy and good-for-nothing because the Kennedy family exists?
Wait, wait, I forgot; you're not lazy and good-for-nothing. Your teacher told you that you are special and so did your mommy.
I hate to break this to you, but they may have told you a lie. Think back; what did you actually do that was so special? Were you an all-state quarterback? Did you carry your team to victory on your shoulders in a HI IQ Bowl competition? Did you set a state record for selling chocolate bars to support the school band? Those are the sort of achievements that should build self-esteem. That's because the right way to build self-esteem is by finding something you want to do, becoming better at it than most other people, realizing it, and then feeling a sense of specialness as a result of your accomplishments.
Instead, what we call "building self-esteem" has become nothing more than giving children a false sense of confidence. Oh, little Johnnie, you were born in America! That means the world is your oyster! Oh, you graduated from high school; that's great! Then you graduated from college? With a degree in Art History? Wow, that's really amazing! Just stand there long enough and your reward is sure to fall from the sky, wrapped in a bow, right into your waiting hands!
The "American Dream" used to be getting married, getting a white house with a picket fence, having 2.5 kids, and living a reasonably comfortable life. Tens of millions of working people have made good and happy lives for themselves and their families living that dream. However, now we have man-children going $50,000 in debt for a philosophy degree who are starting to realize that they're not actually going to make $100,000 a year as a community organizer or licking stamps for some left-wing foundation. Even worse yet in their minds, they can't afford a 50 inch TV, a Kindle, an IPod, an iPhone, a new car, nice clothes, a Playstation 3, and everything else their parents accumulated over a lifetime – which, of course, they want at 25 while working 40 hours a week at a job they like.
That is not the real world. That has never been the real world.
The "Greatest Generation" suffered through the Great Depression, which makes every bad economy we've had since then look like a tea party with the queen. Afterwards, they went overseas, fought the Nazis and the Japanese, and the ones that lived came back home and started to build a life while they stood up for freedom across the world against the Soviet Union. They did make one mistake though; they had it so brutally hard in their own lives that they eased up too much on their own kids. That was the heart of a generation speaking. What they missed was that the struggles that they had to endure were what shaped their character and carved them into such an extraordinary group of people. Because they had to fight so hard for everything they had, not only did they grab every opportunity that came their way with both hands, they appreciated just being given the opportunity to work their butts off to have a chance to succeed.
The same certainly can't be said about the Baby Boomers. As a group, they were inferior to their parents in almost every way that mattered. They were less Godly, less moral, less charitable, less patriotic, less industrious, less ambitious, lazier....but they would certainly never admit that to themselves. So, they looked at the very, very limited subset of things that they did better than their parents and they created a pseudo-morality based on tolerance, diversity, and “not being mean." That's an extraordinarily thin group of minimally important virtues for any group of people to hang their hat on, but it's what they had to work with.
The problem with this pseudo-morality is that it has now been taken to its natural conclusion and it's doing more harm than good. We're creating a nation full of man-children because every stupidity and immorality you can think of is now being tolerated. Build your house on a flood plain so dangerous you can't even insure it? No problem; somebody will pay for it. Have 15 kids with 3 different men? No problem; somebody will pay for it. Ride your bike down a trail you weren't supposed to when it was icy and fall? No problem; somebody will pay for it. Make a really dumb deal on a house and get underwater on your mortgage? No problem; somebody will help pay for it. We've got a lot of people dedicated to proving that they're "tolerant" and "not mean" who really should be asking whether or not they are being stupid.
Of course, this mentality has shaped outlooks on life, too. If you're a woman and failing, the patriarchy must be keeping you down. If you're black and behind, the white man must be holding you back. If you're an illegal alien, the problem isn't that you broke the law; it must be that racists don't like you. If you have minimal skills and a gaggle of illegitimate kids, the state must not be doing enough to help you. Can't pay your mortgage? The bank must have ripped you off. If you're poor, some rich guy must be taking money that was somehow meant for you. The only good thing about the way losers blame everybody but themselves for their own failures is that it warns the rest of us that they're losers.
It’s gotten so bad that treating adults like small children isn't enough. Now, we've actually gotten to the point where we have to make phony excuses for why the mediocrities aren't as successful as the people who're talented, smart, and work hard. Suddenly, the guy who worked 70 hours a week for decades, saved all his money, and invested it or started his own business -- he's the bad guy. It didn't used to be that way. We used to hold people like that up as an example and encourage people to learn from them. Now, we have to try to tear people down because their success is a living rebuke to the sort of selfish, lazy, morally bankrupt man-children who are failing at life despite the fact that they think they're so "special."
If people really think bankers and CEOs have it easy, why not become a banker or a CEO? Oh yeah, that would mean no neck tattoos, wearing a suit and tie, celebrating success, and working seventy hours a week for a few decades without a surefire guarantee that you could outperform other hard-driven achievers in a competitive field. It's a whole lot easier to go to the park, lay back like a big baby, complain about how hard you've got it, and demand to be given a portion of somebody else's success that you don't even remotely deserve.
We have people who mock God, scoff at tradition, scorn hard work, show disdain for men of honor, embrace hedonism, and wallow in their own selfishness and victimhood while they demand pity because they've got it hard as a result of the irresponsible way they live their lives. Let me tell you what a lot of people really think, but don't want to say because it's not politically correct. Stop complaining that the people who are paying your share, their share, and a dozen other people's share aren't doing enough while you camp out in Zuccotti Park and eat donated food. There are few things worse than arrogant beggars. So, get off your lazy butt, stop looking for hand-outs, take baths, apply for jobs on Wall Street instead of protesting it, and start contributing to society instead of leeching off of it. The problem with society isn't the people paying taxes and creating jobs; it's the non-contributors with a huge sense of entitlement who think they should be able to make a good living off the sweat of someone else's brow. Your envy, your endless excuses, and your embrace of victimhood are sickening and unmanly. Grow up.