Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ahh Spring - Season for Change

Actual Sunshine! Yes I know that it exists-but a normal March would mean Spring in theory more than practice. This year we have a lot of grass and warm temperatures, indicating change is in the air - almost time to put away the heavy boots. Change is in the air for my country as well. The changes I see on the horizon are not fluffy clouds and gentle zephyrs - they seem like angry wall clouds, harbingers of trying things to come.
I worry that many have lost their way in America, lost their path to adulthood with all it's joys; and responsibilities. I grew up with the image of the shining city on the hill, the place where responsibility and self determination were the guiding principals - if you chose to do something stupid - you paid the price. The training began on the playground.
I recall the days of the tall slide, can you remember them? before we had the lawyer approved, shock absorbing surounded, playscapes - we had real jungle gyms where if you went too far beyond your limits, you risked an injury. Those tall slides, the kind that the little kids waited to go tandem with you on? There was always one jokster who had to -jump off - or try standing - or something else? They got the broken arm, etc and we got the lesson, now we pamper and protect our young so much that at 26? or more they cannot fathom leaving the nest? They never faced a small risk, they got a trophy for showing up and heaven help their first supervisor - there are no trophys and gold stars for just showing up at work.
There is great honor in responsibility, great freedom in making your own way, and then having the choice of giving back - and how you give back. There is only frustration in having to wait all the time to see what you will get. Having it taken from you is not the same, think about the bully taking your desert - or you sharing it with your first crush - get the picture?
Let's get back to competition, for in the challenge is the energy to meet or exceed the goals. No one wins all the time - but the best are found and rewarded, and those who compete also earn their own honor. Competition also implies a choice of when to compete and when to support the competitors.
As the parks hopefully fill with children, this year let's start leaving the nanny state behind. Anyone want to race to the tall slide?