I was struck by the ideas in this article I found in the Atlantic this week. The article really describes the culture that I grew up in and have now raised my own kids in. My kids have been raised in the culture of self esteem.
The culture of Hollywood kid’s movies is this:
- People win against the odds simply because they believe in themselves.
- Goals are achieved in a short period of time without hard work.
- Individuals on their own can achieve great things.
- Being “average” is a bad thing.
- If you really want something you can do anything in life.
This culture makes success look fast and easy. That’s not the world I live in. That’s the cult of self esteem.
Here’s the reality of the world that I live in:
- It takes years of practice to master anything.
- I can’t do anything I want to. There are limits.
- Individuals, acting alone, rarely if ever accomplish anything of lasting value.
- Being average is what most of us are.
- The amount I want something doesn’t necessarily translate into success.
That’s a tough message. But it’s true. I want my kids to learn to deal with reality.
Here are some of the messages that I want my kids to grow up with:
- Learning to cope with failure is as important as learning to cope with success.
- In order to do anything of lasting value you will need relationships in your life.
- Successful people have often succeeded in the face of tremendous difficulty and often after many failures.
- The most important thing in life is who you are not what you do.
- Reality is complex, difficult, and challenging. But it can also be rewarding and rich even in the midst of this challenge factor.
I love kid’s movies. I even love many of the kid’s movies that are mentioned in the article.
And I want my kids to be secure, safe, confidant, and have a healthy self esteem.
I also want them to know how to deal with success and failure. I want them to be individuals and able to collaborate. I want them to be mature.
Which means understanding and dealing with life on life’s terms.