Thursday, May 14, 2009

1 Cluff 14:1-17

1. And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto the father of the home saying: Follow me and I will lead you to a great promised land.
2. And the father answered: Yes, we will go.
3. Then the word of the Lord came saying that the way to the promised land would pass through the valley of learning, and the father said: Yes, I will go to the promised land; but is there another way to go that does not lead through this terrible valley? (for the father had struggled in this valley before)
4. So the father took his family and began to make preparations for the journey, as there were many papers to be filled out and interviews to be had as the family sought their own way to the promised land.
5. Then the word of the Lord came again unto the father of the home saying: Follow me and I will lead you to a promised land through the valley of learning.
6. And the father answered: Yes, we will go even if we have to go through that treacherous valley.
7. So the father took his family and left their home and their comforts and began the journey towards the valley, not knowing beforehand what they should do.
8. And they were led to a not so fertile, but comfortable, land on the edge of the valley and they set up camp. And they awaited for the way through the valley to be shown.

9. And while they were camped, they met many people who sheltered them and fed them and comforted them.
10. And after many days, the word of the Lord came again saying: Here is the way through the valley. But it is not time to go yet.
11. So the family once again began preparations for the journey. And while they were preparing they discovered a different way through the valley that seemed to them to shine greater and be more acceptable to them. So they planned their journey in this better way.
12. And as they planned, they became lost and could not see their way. And they floundered in the wilderness for many days until the way was blocked before them.
13. And it came to pass that they went back and began again in the way the Lord had shown them. And though the way seemed more difficult at least there was light.
14. And now it came to pass that the word of the Lord came again saying: Thou shalt construct a vehicle to help you across this valley.
15. And the father answered: Yes, we will build it; if thou wilt show unto us how to construct it as we have no idea what we are doing.
16. And it came to pass that at this time the family is constructing a way to be able to pass through the valley of learning to the promised land. And they know that the way will take about three years. And there are many questions as to how they will live upon this vehicle and how it will run. But they will put their trust in the Lord.
17. And they know that they will be led by the Lord not knowing beforehand what will come. And they have hope in the Lord for what is ahead. And they have faith that the Lord will show them all ways through the difficulties, for there shall be many. And even if they do not actually make it to the promised land, they will be joyful in knowing that the Lord is leading them.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And while I'm on the subject . . .

. . . of not wanting to make our kids feel bad, can I just say something about winners?

Why is it that we have to make every kid feel good, even when they lose?

Now I'm not saying that I want kids to suffer or feel bad, but I feel like we are short-changing the kids who really try hard at stuff. And we're not teaching our kids how to lose.

Two Examples: Pinewood Derby. Movie Day.

First, in our Cub Scout Pack, they just give out stickers to everyone who races in the Pinewood Derby. No prizes or anything for the fastest car. And then they make up awards for everyone. Stuff like: most colorful, best use of color, etc. They want everyone to be happy. Yea! big warm fuzzies for everyone.

Second, we recently had a Movie Day at our school. They encouraged the kids to bring cars made out of boxes. They talked about how some dads really got into the whole designing thing and what support it shows to the school. And then they said there would be prizes for the best cars. Well, once they saw all of the cars they decided that there were too many good ones to choose between and everyone got a little sticker. Rah Rah!

Think of how the world works. In the real world, you usually get paid money for high quality work. And if you don't produce the way you're supposed to, you lose your job. But that's not what we're teaching our kids.

What are we teaching our kids? "You don't really have to try that hard at stuff because everyone's going to get a prize." Or, "Why bother working at something when there's really no reward."

Well, what about internal motivators? They should just feel "special inside" for a job well done and not worry about the results. Tell your boss that next time he's not happy with your performance.

And you can't tell me the kid whose pinewood derby car barely makes it down the track is going to made happy with stickers or a made up certificate. So why not give the ones who deserve it something anyway.

Now I know there are some arguments about those kids who don't really do much anyway, "its their parents doing all the work". But then you are presented with another teaching opportunity for your own kid. And too bad if that other kid grows up thinking that someone else is responsible for their success.

I think its a cop out on the part of the judges, too. They're too scared to make decisions. "I'm afraid I'll hurt someone's feelings." But they are only thinking about the losers and not the kids who actually deserve recognition. Do they ever think that their feelings may be hurt, too.

I say let's have real contests again with winners and losers!!


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