As a rule I don’t buy into many of the news stories you see passed along on social media as the sources for these stories are usually far from true media outlets.
They are usually promulgated by someone with a hundred bucks to buy and post a website, allowing them to cherry-pick other real news stories and then rewrite them to formulate support for whatever outrageous opinion it is they happen to hold on a given subject. As a suggestion I would say you should do the same, especially if the grammar is way off the mark or the misspellings are rampant.
So, for me to reference a story I found on social media is a rarity. But I did see two things that I felt I needed to address if not for your benefit for the benefit of my sons — and myself because this is really eating away at me. I am beginning to wonder if I pulled some sort of Rip Van Winkle, falling asleep one night and waking up one hundred years later to a world I no longer recognize.
The first was a news account of Wake County, N.C., where the school district administration had made a decision to do away with naming valedictorian and salutatorian recipients during high school graduations. The reason given in a statement was these titles were outdated and — get this — left too many children behind.
OK, WHAT? The argument was students were beginning to take easier courses to attain the GPA to receive either one of the top two spots during graduation and these two spots would be replaced with the Latin designations for graduating with honors.
You know, I don’t have access to enough ink to truly tell you what I think, but I will do my best to share with you what I believe is happening.
The second was a story out of Louisiana concerning a young African-American man. His race has no bearing on the story but undoubtedly someone will make that the focal point of the controversy and heaven forbid I be put in a position of disproving a negative by being dubbed a racist (with disproving a negative an impossibility).
It seems this gentleman has helped to raise an infant child, excelled at athletics receiving a football scholarship to Southeastern University, and never received less than an A in any course during his four years.
As a matter of fact he was named Student of the Year, yet was not allowed to walk the stage to receive his diploma because has a goatee and refused to shave it. Please note, there was no rule in place concerning facial hair his entire four years but when he showed up the administration took his cap and gown and sent him home.
When did it become so important for there to be no individuality in this country? When did we as a people become so insecure of ourselves as to require everyone to be exactly the same? When did it become a bad thing, a stigma, to be different? Why are those who excel due to their own labor and effort dragged down instead of rewarded?
Why does everyone have to have a trophy?
I know, I know, some of you are going to talk about how these things hurt the self esteem of others or how it is making children feel bad and frankly — yes, I am going to be extremely blunt here — that’s just too tough.
The fact is this trend of not recognizing children for their efforts, rewarding them all for doing nothing, and not allowing them to fail is going to do far more damage to them than having to watch another child who has worked and poured their heart into something and achieved success.
These same children you are coddling today are going to graduate — and they will because no one is allowed to fail — and go out into the world, seeking a job and a career. The culture shock is going to send them reeling.
This false sense of equality and security you are propping them up with is smoke and mirrors and the day will come when they show up their job — possibly after leaving your basement a half hour late for work — and cry foul each time someone earns a promotion, a raise, or any honor whatsoever for their efforts.
They will be a disillusioned complainer which no boss is going to put up with, leading them to a string of increasingly more menial labors and they will become a problem employee with whom no one wants to deal.
Let’s not even discuss what their personal relationships will be like because I can’t even imagine what two self-entitled young people trying to make a life together will result in while they argue how unfair the other is.
The point is, it is the individual, the free thinker who innovates life, not the robotic clone. It is individuality, lessons learned through failure — by the way, no one learns a thing by winning — and emulating the successes of others that lead our children to prosperous lives which are fulfilling to themselves and society.
It absolutely astonishes me anyone could see this trend of conformity to the group as a good thing and frankly I welcome anyone to substantially show me different.
I have two sons, Nathan and Andrew, and this is for them: Boys, go right on being you, find your talents, work them and forget about being recognized for your efforts at this point because in the majority of cases that is has become completely meaningless but most of all keep pushing and give ‘em hell!
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.