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In looking at my posting habits of late, I can say with certainty that I have arrived at a state of apathy. Why bother posting. I am not changing anything. I just point at someone else's work, or go on a borderline lunatic rant. I guess the major issue is that I see all the changes that are happening around me, and feel completely powerless.
I never really paid attention to world, National, or even local events until I started a family. Nothing was really important to me outside of myself. Now that I am a husband to a gorgeous woman (The Wife), and the father of three awesome kids, I have gone to the other end of the spectrum.
So that's why stuff like this gets me riled up, and I push the beast of Apathy back.
"Places such as Boston, Spokane, Wash., and Cheyenne, Wyo., have decided not to allow unsupervised chase games because they fear if kids get hurt, the schools would be sued, according to The Associated Press."
Yah, the only reason they should fear getting sued is if there's gross negligence involved. Too many "damn hippy parents" freak out over their child getting a bruise or cut, and, thanks to trial lawyer lobbyists, can easily sue a school district. Parents want to make certain that their child never fails, never experiences pain, and are always happy. I know that I want those things for my kids. However, I also realize that for my kids to grow and develop, I am going to have to let them fail on occasion, let them get a few bumps and bruises. I will always be there to help them back on their feet, and point them in the direction to success.
Part of the whole schoolground interaction is learning social skills for later in life. Things like how to talk to people, meeting new friends, learning the difference between a "Friend" and an "Acquaintance". Bargaining skills developed over trading toys, how to tell jokes, and how far you can push your body in physical exertion. Take all these opportunities away, and you have just stunted the growth and development of a child. Take it away at a school, and now we are not talking about an individual loss, we are instead talking about hundreds of lives. Multiply this by the amount of schools involed, and the number rapidly climbs into the thousands of future developmentally deficient people. People that now have to learn those same skills as an adult, where mistakes can alter your life, not just your lunchtime.
"In recent years, kids on teams - mostly recreational - have been given trophies whether they deserve them or not, so they wouldn't feel left out compared with those who were trophy-worthy. Funny thing, though, it's their parents who are paying for the trophies anyway."
I remember judging a tournament one time, where it was a kids division, 4 - 8 yr. olds. Every child won a trophy. As head judge, I was obligated to come up with a reason for each trophy. So, kids were winning trophies for "Black Belt Attitude", or "most Awesome yells", or "Finishing their Form". I had a father of one of the kids come up to me after the children were dismissed, perplexed as to why his child won a trophy. I explained to him that "Every kid tried, so they all were winners". At the time, being a borderline liberal, this made sense to me. The gentleman was dumbfounded. "How can my child win, when he did not meet the requirements?!?! Where is the incentive for him to try harder next time?!?! Why should he bother changing anything?!?!" Looking back on that statement, I could not agree more.
I remember when I began my Martial Arts journey. I attended a tournament when I was a 7 yr. old. I took third place overall. I had my arse handed to me by a kid almost half my size in the semi-finals. I worked my ass off to get that trophy, and I was crushed that I did not get First place. However, it did make me focus more on my training. I had several more failures during my competitive years. Each of these I learned from, and made changes, adjustments. By the time I was 18, I do not believe that there was even one tournament in which I did not receive at least one First place trophy (for either Forms or Sparring), and I ALWAYS walked away with a trophy in each, a trophy that I earned. And during this time, I was attending every tournament I could find, sometimes two in a month.
People who subscribe to the entire "Political Correctness" meme (for things physical, mental, and verbal) are treading down a dangerous path. I am grateful that I was able to drag myself out of that way of thinking. Seeing as these days the only movies / TV I get to watch is geared towards kids, I will quote a kids movie to drive the point home:
Marlin: I promised I'd never let anything happen to him (Nemo).
Dory: Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
Dory: Well you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him... Not much fun for little Harpo.