Do you grab onto the latest and greatest idea you hear on television, see on the internet, or hear as it makes its way through the friend chain?
Or do you view things with skepticism until you think it through, do a little research, and mull over cause and effect?
We tend to be a nation in search of the quick fix: fat-melting jiggle machines, weight loss without working out, a pill to make us feel better right now, buy now—pay later plans, and fresh produce without planting a garden.
We want something we consider “good” without doing the work to get it. Child rearing and education have been areas where our nation has followed the trends of the latest and greatest thinkers without delving deeper or using scientific, cause-and-effect thinking before diving in.
- My mother’s generation was encouraged to bottle-feed rather than breast-feed. My generation was encouraged to consider my convenience before my child’s long-term health.
- In the 1980-1990s, the buzz word was self esteem, but we forgot to balance that with a work ethic.
- We want a job, a home, a car, a lifestyle now, with government assistance, so we don’t have to sacrifice or plan for the future.
There are so many more examples of “I deserve,” “I’m entitled to,” and “I have every right to.” This is a downhill, slippery slope.
At some point, we have to think through, commit to, wait for, do the work, prepare, and rethink. And our attitude is important through all this.
Can we stick with it? Do we have grit?
Who’s supposed to teach this? Is it genetic? Is it learned? Can it be taught?
Big questions for parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, employees…
For a NPR story about this issue in education, see: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/03/468870056/is-grit-doomed-to-be-the-new-self-esteem#