Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Appeasement Doesn't Work - Ever 

A few weeks ago, a group of friends were having lunch. One, I'll call Sue, has a sister who is married to a guy who has been diagnosed as bi-polar but refuses to take his meds. While not boring the reader with details, I do want to mention is this: Sue's sister has tried everything to make the marriage work. She has changed her job, working hours, counseling, etc. to no avail. I agree it takes two but when relationships fail, history shows, one tries harder to repair it than the other. In this case, Sue's sister returns at the slightest sign of hope. She's been doing this for years.

Appeasement in relationships doesn't work.

Our education system has spent the last 40 years telling our students they don't need to memorize facts or dates and that everyone is special. As a result, we test poorly when compared to other industrial nations. While I agree all children are special, refusing to teach them basic facts, dates, etc. results in an over valued ego that cannot think. This knowledge is needed to process new information and see it in perspective. Ignoring standards and giving students top grades out of a misplaced idea that "good grades result in self-esteem," or because the teacher wants the student to feel good, or the teacher is afraid of parents is defeating for the student. Eventually they will hit the real world which does not have "do-overs" or outsiders settling disputes. The real world demands performance. Actual learning not pabulum results in real self-esteem, not the empty "feel good" misperceptions too many kids have.

Appeasement for students doesn't work.

Move to a global scale. Unfortunately, there will always be real bullies and thugs. Today most are found in a number of African nations, military juntas in the East, and the dictatorships in the Middle East. Too many politicians want to dialogue, talk, etc. with nations that do not have any leaders who want to dialogue with us. Tough stands by the anyone in the west are slammed at home and abroad because we might upset someone's fragile ego. They won't talk to us because they lose. We need to wake up.

Appeasement doesn't work.