Tag Archives: Jeffery Zaslow

Did You Just Call Me a Wuss?

Rest Day Read (SR-72)

Are Americans Wusses or Just Fond of Trash Talk?

by Jeffrey Zaslow in Wall Street Journal

[Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell belittled the NFL for postponing an Eagles-Vikings football game because of a snowstorm. “We’ve become a nation of wusses,” he said.]

[Gov. Rendell says he was stunned by the interest in his comments, but on reflection, he now understands why his words stung. “Our country was founded by incredible risk-takers,” he says. They were an army of farmers and shopkeepers, and they fought knowing that if they lost, they’d be hung. We seem to have lost our boldness.”]

[The United States defined itself by its pioneer spirit. “We were the brash Paul Bunyan nation with a don’t-tread-on-us culture,” says John Strausbaugh, author of the 2008 book SISSY NATION.]

[“We’re now a culture focused more on safety than freedom,” says Steve Olson, a 41-year-old IT manager in Savage, Minn. He dates the change in America to sometime between 1984, when “baby-on-board” signs were first seen on minivans, and 1988, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lawn darts.]

[Ms. (Lisa) DeNoia was bothered by coverage of Gov. Rendell’s remarks. In a letter to him, she wrote: “We’re not a nation of wusses. We’re a nation of fearless, bumbling morons in pickup trucks who like to drink beer, go shirtless in the freezing cold for football, and drive in blizzards.” She argued that true leaders are mature enough to make unpopular decisions to protect the public’s safety.]

“Did you just call me a wuss? Meet me back here then in 20 minutes, I need to get my gloves, my mouthpiece, headguard, my inflatable body suit and my Chuck Norris SAFELY KICKING ASS, THE WALKER TEXAS RANGER WAY manual. You are getting a good old fashioned butt whipping today, my friend!

Have we gone too far in America? Have we swung too far to the side of trying to make everything as safe as humanly possible that we actually have become weaker? Safety is good, don’t get me wrong, but have we taken it to the point where we are worried more about complete prevention from bad things rather than preparation for bad things. We work to completely prevent the bump on the head, the cut on the arm or being bullied in school but we do not work to prepare ourselves and those we love to deal with these things.

We will fail, we will lose, we will get hurt. These things are all part of life and part of living in a great free society as we do. We need to be prepared to deal with these things so that we may learn and move
forward as better individuals and society.

If we give everyone a trophy, we basically give no one a trophy.

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Blame it on Mr. Rogers?

Rest Day Read (SR-31)
Blame It on Mr. Rogers: Why Young Adults Feel So Entitled
by Jeffrey Zaslow, The Wall Street Journal
“Fred Rogers, the late TV icon, told several generations of children that they were “special” just for being whoever they were. He meant well, and he was a sterling role model in many ways. But what often got lost in his self-esteem-building patter was the idea that being special comes form working hard and having high expectations for yourself….”
…The world owes you nothing. You have to work and compete. If you want to be special, you’ll have to prove it.”

I don’t know if you have to blame it ALL on Mr. Rogers, maybe just a little bit. But you have to blame this entitlement attitude on the ” ‘special’ just for being whoever they were” approach our society seems to have adopted. If you work with youngsters, especially young athletes, you have seen an explosion in the prevalence of this attitude. It is a struggle and a fight to convince kids they will reap greater enjoyment, confidence and self-esteem by working hard toward obtaining the goals they set for themselves. Mom and Dad cannot do the work for you. They can complain and moan and groan on your behalf to make things easier for you, but it doesn’t do you a dang bit of good in the long run. There is no way around it, hard work is the magic.

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