The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Month: September 2017

Everyone is NOT a winner

 

For some time, especially during the earlier part of this decade (201x), there was a lot of pressure put on schools and children’s sports groups to have an “Everyone is a winner” policy.

A good example of this is a flag football group that my son belonged to.  While they did not come right out and SAY that everyone was a winner, each week they would give an award to one of the players for outstanding sportsmanship.

It did not really dawn on me that this is what was happening at first, and to be honest, I was more lost in the fun of watching my son play than actually paying attention to the awards part.  But when I did see it, it was a bit of a shock to me and I felt a little disheartened.

It was about four weeks into the “season” when they were doing one of their little ceremonies that they picked out this one little boy as this week’s outstanding player.  I did not know the name, but when the little boy came forward, I realized that this is the little boy that would never play.  All he did was cry and throw tantrums.  I remembered that there was one time that the coaches were trying to get him to play, so they HANDED him the ball and told the other kids to stay back and let him run.   But all he did was sit on the ground with the ball and cry.

Even my son, who was five at the time came to me afterward and asked, “Why did he get an award, he never played.”

This is where I decided to make sure that I teach Gideon that this is not right.

I work hard to make sure that he understands that there are always going to be winners and loser.  But that losing does not mean that you you ARE a loser.  It means that you made mistakes and to try a little harder next time, or to try something else next time.

Until this flag football team that my son was on, I had thought that people had moved away from that whole “Everyone is a winner, just for trying.” mentality.  Granted, trying is the main point and if you do not try, you do not even have a chance to succeed.  So in that respect, credit should be given for taking the chance, for getting out there and for making the effort.

But no… You are NOT a winner just because you MADE the effort, and I was lucky in that my son could see this even at his young age.  He could tell that if you lost, you lost.  There are no rewards for failure and there is no victory lap for the losers.

He also understands that congratulations should go to the winning teams.  When we have been places where we play against someone, and they win.  He is the first one to go over and shake hands with them and congratulate them.  If he is the winner, he is happy, and will jump around, but will always take time to complement the other player.

If it is so easy for my son, a six-year-old now, to understand this and to live that life, then why is it that the adults that run these programs and for the parents that participate in them to figure it out?

I have taught Gideon from the start that he will win some in life and will lose.  I have told him that he will probably lose more than he will win and that is fine.  That is it not about the loss itself, but about the way you handle the loss and how you express it to others.

Being a good loser and understanding that you lost means you try harder next time, is every bit as important, maybe more so, than winning and knowing that you did it all right.   Right now Gideon seems to understand that, he will say things like, “Poppy, I know what I did wrong, I will get it right next time.”

I hope that he keeps that up.  Keeps that mentality and drive, and does not let teachers or other parents take that away from him.

Thanks for reading.

Respect and BEING Respectful

I recently became part of a debate on Facebook, with a friend of mine, over a video that was posted.  Well, not really a DEBATE, but a discussion.

The issue came up over this video that was posted on Twitter:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/9/7/1696774/-Young-girl-flips-off-Infowars-interviewer-instantly-becomes-a-Twitter-favorite

I would like to point out that I have no fondness or dislike for Info Wars, personally I am pretty apathetic about them and the people they have working for them.  So this is not in defense of them in any way.   Personally all these pop-up “News” providers can disappear and I would be perfectly happy.

The issue came up when a friend of mine on FB posted this and praised the girl for he stand.  My issue was not even with her “stand”, if you could even call it that.  It was with the way she presented it.

When the “Reporter” approached her and made a snarky comment, she responded with vulgarity and flipped him off.  When asked who taught her to talk like that, she stated that it was her mother.

I am all for people’s First Amendment rights to free speech, but I was also brought up with the understanding that if you have to resort to profanity, then you have lost your argument.  You are now trying to defend your point with ignorance and not intelligence.  I sort of see this as another form of Godwin’s Law, but without the man in the mustache.

If you are able to stand toe to toe with someone and have an intelligent discussion/argument without the need to call names and cuss, then I have every respect for you and will appreciate your effort, even if I think it is wrong.  But if you have to resort to name calling or profanity, then my first thought it that you do not know enough about what you are defending to state your point with any intellect and may not even know what you are talking about or defending in the first place.

But the root of this issue for me is respect.   The argument was made to me that this “Reporter” show her no respect so she was not obligated to show him any and it was also said that respect is earned, not given.  I would argue the opposite on two points.  First, yes… respect is earned, but there are different types of respect at play here.   Should she respect him as a reporter?  Maybe not, that is not my place to say.  But should she BE respectful?  Yes, by all means.  We should all be respectful to people, especially those we do not know.

Granted, in some cultures here in our United States, profanity is something common, even used as a greeting (for anyone that has been to Brooklyn.) But if someone comes to you and challenges your ideals or beliefs, then the proper response would be to discuss, use your knowledge on the topic as a weapon against the person questioning or challenging you.

I wonder if this girl had stopped what she was doing and politely asked, “Can you explain what you mean?”   I get the feeling that it would have disarmed the “Reporter” and caused him to actually carry out a dialogue with the gal and that would have allowed him, and her, to better understand each others stance and point.

And I think that is what a lot of what is going on right now.  People like this learning from their parents or peers that they do not need to be respectful of others.  We need to get that back.  Remember, these are the people that will be running, or ruining, the country one day.  Do we really want someone in office that thinks the first proper response to a challenge is to fly off the handle and show the bird?

Do you want to annoy The Samurai?

Yeah, this is going to be a rant.   Sort of like Peter Griffin’s “You know what grinds my gears” from the show, Family Guy.

For the most part, I am pretty laid back these days.  Not a lot gets to me or annoys me.  It has taken me years to achieve this zen like state with regards to people that used to be able to find that chink in my armor and get to me.  But there are still things that will get to me.   I would like to talk about a few of them here, because there are some people out there that I just DONT THINK UNDERSTAND that what they do IS annoying.

“Guess What?”

This is tops of my list.  There is a person that uses this more often than anyone else I know and each time it is like grating nails on a chalkboard.  I mean, I have heard it from others, and it is mildly annoying from them, but this other person… She will be silent for long periods of time, then out of the blue, I will get a text message, “Guess What?”

For the longest time, I bit… I would ask, “What?”  About one third of the time I would never get a response from her and I would have to ask again.  There were even a couple times I can recall that when she finally responded, she forgot what she was wanting to tell me.  So in my thinking, it was either a lie in the first place, or just not something that was important enough to start the conversation anyway.

Whenever I get these messages, my mind thinks of ways to mess with the person sending them.  Another friend of mine that has been the victim of the “Guess What” messages told me we should start responding with:

  • You’re pregnant?
  • You’re excited about something?
  • You’re depressed?
  • You’re experiencing intense gas?
  • You’re having a bad day?
  • You’re having a great day?
  • You’re having vaginal spasms?
  • You’re going to die?
  • You’re needing help?
  • You’re going to college?
  • You’re sitting on a Cactus?
  • You’re making amends?
  • You’re an idiot?

I finally told her about a year ago that I would not longer respond to “Guess What” messages.  So, as promised, the next time she sent me one, I deleted it without reading it.

Note:  This is something that she obviously forgot, because two days ago I got, and promptly deleted, a “Guess what” message from this person.  To quote Homie the Clown, “Homie dont play that!”

“Irregardless”

Anyone that says or uses in written form, “Irregardless”.

I firmly believe that IF there is a Hell, there is a special place for people that use this fake word.

I cannot say that people that use it are lazy, because when you think about it, the word they SHOULD be using is “Regardless”, which takes a little less time and effort to use, so they are just working that much harder to sound ignorant.

I know that there are people out there that use it because they may have heard it and thought it was real, but as soon as they are told otherwise, they need to stop.  Moreover, when I was growing up, my mother taught me that you should know what a word MEANS before you use it.  So if this is applied, then people would see that while yes, it is listed in Websters, they would see that it is not something that they should be using.  See the attached.

So while yes, they do say it is a word, it is not a standard word and, technically you are saying “not regardless”.

So move on.

People that pronounce the “B” in Subtle.

Yes, there are people I have met that do.  So stop it.  I know it can be confusing and yes, English is a confusing language, but if it is your primary language, get used to it and say the words right!

 

Getting invited to parties, because they need a Tech.

This is why I stopped going to parties.  No lie.

I can count at least ten times (yes, I know, fool me once…) where I was invited to a party or event, then at some point, the host or their significant other come to me and ask, “Can I have you take a look at something?”

Then I am led to their computer and told a story about how something is no longer working.

Because I am a nice guy, I do it, then end up missing the party and later hate myself for falling for it… yet… again.

I have put a stop to it, though.  If you want me to look at your computer because you pulled some bone-headed maneuver and messed it up, make an appointment with me for another time.  If that was the only reason you invited me, fess up, and I will leave now.  Otherwise, let me have fun.

 

That is it for now… as I think of more I will post another article.

 

Thanks for reading!!

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