June 11, 2015
Starting in the 1960’s and picking up steam in the 1990’s, people began subscribing to the idea that it was unfair to have winners and losers. Youth baseball and soccer teams stopped keeping score and everyone was declared a winner by receiving a participation trophy. The ones with natural talent, or those that put in their best effort, feel slighted while those who know they aren’t that good realize their trophy for just showing up is nothing more than a joke.
No one wants their feelings hurt or to feel bad about themselves. We should never purposely cause that. But if one doesn’t experience a little disappointment and failure in their life, then what is there to push them to do better? If we are satisfied with the status quo, we are never motivated to strive for something better.
If America would have had this attitude at the beginning, we wouldn’t have cars, planes, microwaves, computers, cell phones, iPads or even zippers or Velcro. We never would have won any wars. The Army rangers that climbed the jagged cliffs at Normandy while machine gun fire rained down on them would have given up before they reached the beach. (see Safe Spaces) Your grandfather would have surrendered when his squad was killed around him and allowed the Germans a free pass in World War I possibly changing the dynamics of the Cantigny campaign. (see A Hero's Story and Big Red Won)
Liberty, you have reached a stage where you love to compete. Running up the stairs, getting to the car, buckling yourself in, everything is a race. Even while I'm driving, you always want to be in the lead telling me to "go faster, Mommy." You instinctively know how great it is to be victorious which you declare enthusiastically with, "I win! I win!" In fact, you get quite upset if you don’t. I LOVE that. It is important to always give it your all and strive to be the best. In doing that you can inspire others to search for the very best in themselves.
However, there is a movement in America to eradicate our natural tendency to compete. While we shouldn't flaunt our success, we shouldn't be ashamed of it either. God gives each of us gifts and talents that we should use, not hide. We should find things that we are good at and practice, work hard, and strive to do our best at the task.
In Genesis 11, the people at Babel “said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.” It is extremely significant that God’s word points out that the people started building with bricks. When stones were used, each one was different and unique. The builder had to carefully turn and maneuver the stones, using them as they were, so they fit together into positions that built a strong wall. Bricks were definitely easier to use, because they were all made from the same mold. There was no uniqueness, no individuality, and no personality. They stacked neatly upon each other, no fuss, no concessions, no resistance.
At this point they then said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (see The Rainbow Connection) So, after abandoning originality and distinctiveness, they were going to become their own god by constructing the Tower of Babel. Here they would build a monument to themselves, not God. This was the first example of socialism in the world. As Genesis accounts, it did not work out well for the people. God scattered them by confusing their language and the tower was abandoned. (see Putting Right What Once Went Wrong)
When we allow society to remove competition, forcing equality of outcome regardless of ability and effort, we are being forced into the brick mold. God did not create us to be identical replicas of each other. Paul explains that we all make up the body of Christ. One of us is a hand, one is an eye, and another is an ear. No one part is more important than another, and they work in concert making the body function as a whole. Each person is unique but important to the whole.
But bricks are what socialists want. They cast people as a black brick, or a white brick, or a union brick. You are not unique. You are simply a member of a group they have placed you in. Such thinking leads to the idea that cops target someone only because he is black. (see Just The Facts, Ma'am, Everything Free But Speech, There's Nothing Right About The Alt-Right, and Is God Dead?) But is that true, or is he a unique individual who made bad decisions to engage in crime and most likely violent crime?
America has gone from raising entrepreneurs and self-motivators to producing 30-year-old couch potatoes whose greatest accomplishment is living in their parent’s basements surrounded by their participation trophies. By denying children the ability to fail, we are withholding a fundamental learning experience that they need to prepare for reality.
Young adults who have never been allowed to fail are entering the real world with no idea how to respond when they are rejected. Instead of picking themselves up, learning from the experience and moving forward, they lay around like bricks, inventing reasons why they aren’t successful and searching for other people to blame. Perhaps the $100,000 student loan for a degree in English literature was not money as well spent as that on a degree in engineering. One allows you to build the future; the other allows you to supersize an order of fries.
Without failure people are led to believe in equal outcomes no matter the decisions they make or the effort put forth. Taken to it’s extreme, this way of thinking leads to making horrible decision after horrible decision. They then claim the need to be bailed out, declaring they are too big to fail. Actually, failure was exactly what was needed. Rather than patting GM and Wells Fargo on the head and giving them billions of dollars of participation money to cover up their mistakes, they needed to know there are consequences for bad decisions. Instead, big banks and big business are both convinced they can make any bad decision because the government will insure a proper outcome. At some point, reality will set in.
When everyone receives the same prize, there is no motivation to work harder than anyone else. We sit there in line with the other bricks, take our wages, and say nothing. While the intentions may be honorable, the consequences of an “everybody wins” attitude has led to the development of a generation that accepts socialism as a fair and reasonable idea. Unfortunately, they are never shown the enslaving and debilitating effects of a concept that makes everyone equal. It's not done by raising the standard, but by reducing it to the lowest common denominator, making everyone equally poor. The only ones who benefit from a socialist society are the ones that hold power, by grabbing your money and your freedom all in the name of the “common good.” The easiest place to find the evil 1% is in the hallowed halls of a socialist government.
We must respectfully resist becoming bricks. Never be ashamed of your accomplishments. Never give up on doing your best. In your victories, humbly thank the Lord for your success and accept your award with grace. When you lose, thank the Lord for the opportunity to compete and continue to display gratitude. In either situation, show the love and forgiveness of Jesus so others may desire to have the peace you know through Christ.
In Romans, Paul specifically addressed the troubles we will encounter because of our faith in Christ. His words can also be expanded to all we do as everything should be done in the glory of God. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
Liberty, never deny the desire to be your very best because hard work builds character. Failure inspires determination and endurance. Victory breeds more victory. Individuality ensures freedom and liberty.
That’s my 2 cents.