PC? Not me!

Last November, students at Cornell University staged a “cry-in” after the presidential election didn’t go their way. The University of Michigan School of Law cancelled tests and established a “safe room” where students could sip hot cocoa, play with Legos and watch videos of puppies playing in a field. These are adults; mind you, not elementary school kids. What’s going on here?

These are manifestations of the “Participation Trophy” generation. You know what I’m talking about: if your child’s team didn’t place first, second or third your child received a trophy for “participating.” Nobody is left out; nobody feels bad. In the PC culture, everyone’s a winner. 

As a parent, seeing my children hurting was awful. But I had to allow them to experience pain so they learned resilience. If I don’t, I am risking their ability to handle life’s challenges and disappointments. Life throws some ugly stuff our way sometimes. These kids sitting in their cry-circles drinking cocoa aren’t going to be ready for it when life gets messy. They will fold rather than find the inner strength necessary to face challenges head-on. 

When we protect children from the pain of losing, we are robbing them of the opportunity to grow from it. Treating every child like a winner is the genesis of false expectations about life, weak character, and it teaches them that lackluster effort will be rewarded anyway, so why try our best? 

Let’s encourage our children to always do their best; “leave it all on the field” as my coaches would say. Then, win or lose, you can honorably look yourself in the mirror. 


Free like nowhere else…

Nowadays it seems we are defined by what we are against rather than what we are for. The latest dividing line is whether we stand for the National Anthem, or is it acceptable to take a knee. Let’s consider the bigger issue: freedom. 

We are privileged to have almost unlimited freedom in the United States, freedom we often take for granted. For example, a high-profile athlete called our president a “bum.” In the U.S., we can do that-call our leaders bums or something more harsh. Things may be different if an Iranian citizen called the Ayatollah a bum. A comment like that might result in the Iranian suffering a “horrible accident.”

Recently, it was announced women in Saudi Arabia will be able to apply for a drivers license without first getting permission from their male guardians. Not so fast, though. The male guardian policies of the Saudi monarchy are still in place. Women must first get the approval of their male guardian to open a bank account, receive medical treatment, get an education, travel; even work! These are cultural issues, yet I wonder how Saudi Arabian women would feel if they knew the freedoms women in America have. Talk about starting a revolution! 

As the clerics in Saudi Arabia figure out how to implement the new driving policy, we hear their opinions. According to some clerics, it’s inappropriate for women to drive. Others said men won’t know how to handle seeing women in traffic next to them. Well, men can barely get the trash out to the curb on time, so this may be a legitimate point. One cleric said driving was a danger to women’s ovaries!

Whichever side of the stand/kneel equation you are on, don’t be judgmental of the other side. Rather, view it as an opportunity for us to be unified. See, America is already great, and it’s great because of the freedom we enjoy. We are free to have differing beliefs and opinions. But never forget, our unique republic stands because much blood was spilled. And because our ancestors fought and died for freedom, each of us has the right to stand or take a knee. 

Let freedom reign…