Parents and grandparents are praising their kids for the wrong things. We praise their academic abilities, we praise them for athletics for doing well, athletics for being artistic and drawing and doing well for their looks. We praise them for being beautiful, we tell our girls how gorgeous they are all the time. And we reinforce basic achievements without ever really focusing on what’s important. Parents should reserve their praises for the highest achievements and not basic expeditions.
Do you want your kids to be successful, good, smart or happy? Ask your kid what they think you want them to be and their answer will surprise you. Do you want your kids to be successful, good, smart or happy?
Parents should reserve their praises for the highest achievements, not basic accomplishmnets. We don’t need to teach them to being the best in athletics is the most important or having the best grades in school defines them as a human being. That’s what our schools are doing, that’s what we are doing as parents. We don’t need to teach them that being a great artist is wonderful or the fact that they are beautiful and little Johnny over there is not so pretty. We are teaching them to partake in all of the things that ultimately unfortunately are wrong with society. We just need to teach them to be good.
Germany didn’t start World War II and start the Holocaust because it lacks smart, happy, or successful people. It started World War II and the Holocaust because it lacked enough good people to stop a Dictator like Hitler. We are beginning to lack enough good people beginning in this country. It’s not bad to be a top athlete. In fact it’s a great thing if you are good. It’s not bad to be a straight A student if you are good, but if you cheat to get straight As, that’s not good and being a great student, then, isn’t good.
If you are taught that you should be judged in life because of your looks, if you are not first good that does you no good. What’s an example then of being good? How about if someone lost their iPhone and you instead of keeping it for yourself were to say, “I’m going to find the owner.” A lot of people in society would say, “Huh! Free, Free iPhone! Wow! Whoa! It’s my lucky day! I am smart because I picked it up, I am happy because I got it for free and I am successful because I didn’t have to pay for it.” “But I wasn’t good.” What if there was an elderly person on a bus or subway or train somewhere and you had the last seat available and you gave it to them? What if you stopped to help someone learn the right way to do something that’s struggling.
Politically, we do this as well. I didn’t say running a race for charity, I didn’t say giving free food to hungry people, I didn’t say healthcare for free to sick people, I didn’t say housing to people who are homeless, I didn’t say unemployment forever to people with no job, I didn’t say anything of that, democrats, Oh! you thought you were going in this direction. Wrong! None of those things are good. They help for a moment. They don’t take what you have, your abilities, your intuition and your knowledge and impart that ability to someone else for the rest of their lives. They only help for a length of time you are willing to help which means you are not being good when you write someone else a check, and say, I am going to help you for a day or two. You are trying to make yourself feel better. We all do it to some extent. We feel bad about something, we want to make ourselves feel good, because we feel bad we write a check but we don’t really ever love anyone else and how do you spell love and business in life, it’s T-I-M-E, give your time, but we give a little help and then it ends. It’s over. We feel better. We felt bad, we need to feel better.
So, I will go back to the original question. If you were to ask your kids “Do you want to be successful, good, smart or happy and what do you think I want from you?” “What do you think I want for you?” You may be surprised at how your kid would answer, but the right answer is, “I just want to be good.”
Being “good” is simply about helping our neighbors without expecting anything in return. Are we teaching the next generation this lesson?