Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat 

I've been thinking about today's kids living in their protected world, where they are perfect, all brilliant, all beautiful, all talented. Too often, their parents wait on them, give them what they want (versus need), in other words, spoil them. Adults provide an excuse for failing, why something went wrong and usually someone else to blame. Personal accountability is avoided.

For decades, I loved watching ABC's "Wide World of Sports." It exposed me to sports I never knew existed. The best in the world attempted to win in their field. Sometimes they won, mostly, they didn't. It was life.

Recently I've be replaying the opening theme: "The Thrill of Victory (followed by incredible clips of athletes achieving success) and the Agony of Defeat" (followed by incredible clips of accidents, missed gates, poor landings, etc.). I learned from an early age that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; sometimes it's your fault, sometimes not but only the individual can "fix" it.

When we prevent our children from experiencing losses and all those emotions that go with losing, we are robbing them of life. Adults who protect children so they never experience the "agony of defeat," are saddling them with an attitude that will result in far more failures in life. All will experience losses but if they do not learn how to handle them, they will lose confidence, not be able to cope. They will not learn that you can turnaround negatives, that personal changes can produce different results, that individual hard work benefits one and the team. If we continue raise our children in a la-la environment, they will not learn what they need to stay free because they will always expect someone else to "fix" their loss. They will look for the easy way out. Dictators are only too willing to take advantage of their delusions.