[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
74°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 18
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]


The Real Side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Monday, Jun 24, 2013

joemessinamugWhen I was a child, we were told to work hard, be honest, do your best, stand out, run faster, push, push, push. That’s how you get ahead.

That is so old-school.

No, no, Johnny. Don’t strain yourself. Come over here, grab this Xbox controller and relax. Johnny, put that homework away. You look stressed. Grab this Gameboy and blow off some steam.

We aren’t pushing our kids to do anything.

Back in the early ’80s, the psychobabologists (experts in psycho-babble – and yes, I know it’s not really a word) got together and decided  we were tearing down our young people’s self-esteem by grading them and having winners and losers in sports. According to a University of Michigan study, grading a student was “degrading” because the student based his or her worth on their grades.

I say, humbug.

The study concluded that low self-esteem led to poor health and potentially more involvement in criminal behavior. It said bad grades are usually attributed to poor communities. But do grades cause low self-esteem, which then has a domino effect?

Kids from all walks of life get bad grades, behave badly in school, and so on. But for now, let’s discuss what these psychobabologists are selling: the idea that grades degrade kids.

Most wealthy people from “the hood” got out by working harder, getting a better education, getting off of the streets, and aspiring to be something other than a hoodlum.

Those who work harder and have better grades tend to get into college easier and for less money (through grants and scholarships). Why? Does it mean they are worth more? No, it means they worked harder, wanted more for themselves, had a vision, and were willing to push toward it to get the grades needed to get out of their situation.

On the liberal side of the fence, the Whoopi Goldberg story: sleeping in her car with her kids and on welfare. She wanted more. Does that make her a bad person? No. She made it out of her situation. Good for her.

On the conservative side, there’s Star Parker with a similar story. She, too, came out of it.

Both were black, single females on welfare, who wanted a better life for themselves and their children. They were willing to work hard to achieve it. They used the tools available to them, got ahead, and got off of the government support system. God bless them both.

Both are great examples of what America is meant to be. It doesn’t seem that either of them have any self-esteem or self-worth issues. And I’ll bet both of them received grades.

And then there’s the criticism of keeping score, and recommendations that there should be no scorekeeping. Scorekeeping is bad. It makes the kids feel bad about themselves when they lose. Seriously? Yes, according to the psychobabologists.

I suppose this also means we should get rid of professional sports, the Olympics and academic decathlons. After all, why would we, as enlightened human beings, want to make so many people feel so badly about themselves – to the point of lowering their self-esteem and self-worth, thereby making them sick and causing them to go into a life of crime?

That is the inference that’s being made. Crazy, huh?

Major inventions and successful businesses, too numerous to mention, have followed failure, or someone else beating them to market with a product. Those losses are what make us stronger, better and more caring people.

Making everyone the same breeds mediocrity. No scores, no winners or losers, no grades. Why bother?

A 2001 Sports Illustrated study showed that a large portion of children who started playing organized sports by age 6 usually quit by age 13 because they were no longer having any fun. There is a lesson here, that we are losing in America. How badly do you want it?

This is a great lesson for children. Tell little Johnny and Suzie that competition is not always fun. Competition can be painful and disappointing. Getting to the top is not always fun, and it’s not easy. But when you get there and you look back at all the hard work, you can say, “I did it,” “I built it” – not the government – and “it was worth it.”

Low self-esteem isn’t avoided by an absence of failure. Real self-esteem is earned by recovering from and overcoming failures. Encouragement from family and friends helps, too. You learn that you really can do it if you don’t give up.

And when others look at you and know what you’ve been through to get where you are, your story can give them hope that they, too, can do what you have done.

 

Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also an elected member of the Hart School Board. His commentary normally publishes Mondays.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment


    Opinion Section Policy
    All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
    Read More From...
    RECENT COMMENTARY
    Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
    It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
    Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
    The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
    Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
    We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
    Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
    This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
    Friday, Sep 29, 2017
    Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
    Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
    Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
    CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, opens Fantômas: Revenge of the Image at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, on Oct. 19.
    Oct. 19: CalArts’ Fantomas: Revenge of the Image Premieres in China
    The CSUN women's golf team fired rounds of 306-309 and is in fourth place, just eight shots off the pace at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Seattle University Invitational at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Tacoma, WA.
    CSUN Just Eight Shots Off Pace At Washington Invitational
    Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Recreation, Community Services, Arts and Open Spaces Director Rick Gould announces retirement. Plus, the Board of Supervisors approve mental health care improvements. Check out these stories and more tonight on SCV NewsBreak.
    SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
    The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
    SCV Students Gain Knowledge, Advice at National Manufacturing Day
    A local company is expanding its footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley to accommodate business growth and another is relocating a division of its company from Sylmar.
    Accurate Freight Systems Expands, Leases Space at IAC Commerce Center
    The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
    DVC of SCV Currently Accepting Adopt-a-Family 2017 Applications
    Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
    Nov. 4: Major Impact Theater Presents Blunderland
    California State University, Northridge will make history on Thursday, Oct. 26, by becoming the first California State University with a Sustainability Center.
    Oct. 26: CSUN to Open Sustainability Center
    Registration for the Purple Walk of Strength is now open.
    Oct. 21: Purple Walk of Strength to Benefit Domestic Violence Center
    Raising a child is a demanding job for any parent, especially when supportive resources seem to be elusive or nonexistent.
    Oct. 22: CSUN Hosts Special Needs Resource Fair
    College of the Canyons dominated its match vs. Bakersfield College from start to finish on Friday night, resulting in a 5-1 victory over the Renegades for the Cougars' first conference win of the season.
    COC Gets First Conference Win of Season Against Bakersfield College
    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Following a two-week layoff, College of the Canyons cross country was back in competition on Saturday, running with a mix of community college and Division I programs at the Sixth Annual UC Riverside Highlander Invitational.
    COC Cross Country Back in Competition After Two Week Layoff
    The race to qualify for the Big West Conference Men's Soccer Tournament continues for CSUN this week with a home match against UC Riverside Wednesday night before the Matadors head to UC Irvine Saturday.
    Oct. 18: CSUN Faces Off Against UC Riverside
    After 16 years as director of Parks, Recreation and Community Service for the city of Santa Clarita, Rick Gould announced Monday he's retiring in mid-December.
    Rick Gould Retires as City’s Parks & Recreation Chief
    High school seniors whose dream is to make a difference in the world by majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) are invited to apply for Edison International’s $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program.
    STEM Students Encouraged to Apply for Edison Scholars Program
    Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers, ahead of all other types of injury, disease, or violence.
    National Teen Driver Safety Week Underway
    Elder abuse and scams targeting seniors are a growing problem, Santa Clarita detectives said, but there are numerous resources and protections available.
    Resources, Outreach Available to SCV Victims of Elder Abuse
    Despite rallying from an early 2-0 deficit, College of the Canyons dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Victor Valley College on Friday.
    Canyons Rally Not Enough To Hold Off Victor Valley College
    The College of the Canyons baseball program and Playa Vista Orioles youth baseball organization will host a free instructional clinic for players ages 11-14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Cougar Field.
    Oct. 21: Youth Baseball Clinic at COC
    Sacramento – In an effort to curb the fraudulent use of Disabled Person Parking Placards, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has launched a statewide public awareness campaign to educate Californians about the proper use of disabled parking placards and the consequences of misusing one.
    DMV Launches Statewide Campaign on Use of Disabled Parking Placards
    A California State University, Northridge program that provides support to undergraduate students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate degrees in the mathematical sciences has been named a 2017 Example of Excelencia in Education.
    CSUN Math Program Lauded 2017 Example of Excelencia in Education
    RE/MAX of Valencia will be hosting a blood drive benefiting Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
    Nov. 1: RE/MAX Blood Drive to Benefit CHLA
    Princess Cruises has officially announced its third annual Culinary Cruise Series, featuring famed Miami-based chefs Brad Kilgore and Scott Linquist.
    Princess Cruises Will Feature Two Acclaimed Chefs in Culinary Cruise Series
    1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]
    Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Governor Brown signed off on a new bill that will change local water retailers distribute water in SCV. Plus, a spicy and savory Saturday for charity. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
    SCV NewsBreak for Monday, October 16, 2017
    The Newhall School District's next Regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 17 at 6:15 p.m., and consideration of Newhall Family Theater approvals are on the agenda.
    Oct. 17: Newhall School District Considers Newhall Family Theater OK
    Master’s and Westmont College needed more than 90 minutes again Saturday to settle a Golden State Athletic Conference showdown in Santa Barbara.
    Master’s Men Soccer Players Fall to Westmont in OT
    Leaders from the CLWA and NCWC will meet in October, November and December to discuss their merger, which creates the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency as of Jan. 1.
    Next Step: Water Agency Officials to Share Merger Details
    Master’s women soccer players and coaches alike were adamant after Saturday’s top-10 matchup that Westmont’s 5-2 win wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the score suggests.
    Westmont Tops Master’s Women’s Soccer 5-2
    Although Friday the 13th is a day generally associated with bad luck, CalArts turned the superstition on its ear as the community celebrated the inauguration of its fourth president, Ravi S. Rajan.
    CalArts Inaugurates Ravi S. Rajan as Fourth President
    CalArts School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser brings her collage film program "Double Vision" to REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
    Oct 16: ‘Double Vision’: Recent Films by Janie Geiser at REDCAT
    The promising signs the Mustangs showed in their Missouri opener paid off in the evening Friday when Master’s women’s volleyball picked up its first road win of the season.
    Master’s Rallies on the Road, Nets Season’s First Win
    College of the Canyons' women's volleyball team opened Western State Conference play in style, as the Cougars swept visiting West L.A. College in straight sets.
    No. 11 Canyons Sweeps West L.A. at the Cougar Cage
    Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country will host a fundraiser for local victims of the October 1 Las Vegas shootings on Saturday, October 28, from noon to 4 p.m.
    Oct. 28: Route 66 Hosts Benefit for Las Vegas Shooting Victims
    A roundup of the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Oct. 16-20, 2017.
    Oct. 16-20: Santa Clarita Arts Upcoming Events