The importance of failure
Kelsey Frobisher, from “The Talon”
- OPINION -
This Easter, Colorado children will hunt for a missing tradition.
Organizers have cancelled an annual Colorado Springs Easter Egg Hunt after a 2011 parenting fiasco ruined the festivities.
According to the Times news blog, after technical difficulties made public announcements inaudible, parents rushed into a kids-only area to help their young children gather eggs.
“Too many parents determined to see their children get an egg jumped a rope marking the boundaries of the children-only hunt. … The hunt was over in seconds, to the consternation of eggless tots and the rules-abiding parents.”
It’s only natural to want to help your children, to see them succeed. I may not know what it’s like to have children, but I would still like to pose a question: what if the best thing for children, for our society, is giving failure a little room to function?
We’ve become so afraid of failure that bailouts, participation points and entitlements have become the norm. We almost never let our youth feel the full weight of consequences—or the importance of authority. We value the development of self-esteem over the discernment of individual strengths and abilities, such as showing compassion and helping others.
The result is settling for mediocrity and an attitude of entitlement.
And in many ways, these two mentalities are draining our generation, our communities and our country of drive, innovation and even the basics of adult life—responsibility and competency.
We need to stop being ashamed that equal opportunities do not mean equal outcomes and, instead, embrace the idea that individuals have different strengths and weaknesses. I’m not an expert, but it seems healthy that our kids know they can’t be number one in everything. It shows them that being the best is not what’s most important, but rather how they love other people.
And it’s healthy that our adults know failure is a real possibility.
There is both freedom and fear in that idea. And that, I believe, is healthy too.
An adult who still believes in the Easter Bunny would cause us concern. So why are we allowing an entire generation of young adults to grow up believing in the myth of their own infallibility?
After all, there’s more at stake here than Easter egg hunts.