By Mary Williams, For The Miami Student

It has come to my attention just how sensitive we are becoming as a society.

Clever house names that were once funny are now degrading and derogative. Doing poorly in sports or in school is blamed on our teachers or coaches first, because we could never fathom the fact that we were underperforming.  Not getting hired at the job you wanted is due to some underlying reason that the boss hates you, not the fact that you weren’t the best candidate. 

We are creating problems in our cushy, privileged lives out of issues that are completely unrelated to our cause in the first place.

When and why did we get so soft?

When I was a kid, I played for Santos, a traveling soccer league in Ohio.  I went to practice every day, I showed up to games prepared to play, I worked hard and I started every game. 

I would get a trophy if we won at the end of each season. I didn’t get a trophy for showing up or for participating. Showing up doesn’t build character.  Showing up doesn’t help me adjust or adapt to uncomfortable situations. Showing up does not make me a “winner.” We as humans learn from failures, from mistakes, from taking the bad with the good and building up a tough skin because that is the world we live in.  So, yes, not getting a trophy at the end of every season, or getting yelled at by my coach or my dad on the sidelines has made me a better person. It taught me that I cannot expect things in life like a trophy to be handed to me or change for me just by “showing up” — I have to work for them.

Once we start placing the blame on outside circumstances or others’ incompetence, we are taking away our ability to grow as people and our ability to understand how the world works. Have people forgotten what it is to be human?

We screw up. It happens.  I make mistakes every single day. I am not perfect.  Pretending to be perfect by blaming something or someone else for my failure will not make me a better person, it will make me a fake one, and a weak one.

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