Tags: Education | Mass Shootings | coddling | entitlement | millennials

Erase Entitlement Mindset to End School Violence

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Friday, 09 March 2018 10:58 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The seventh grader had a wicked curve ball, but a more wicked temper. So when his coach offered constructive criticism, the player’s response was short, but definitely not sweet.

"F***-Off!" Except that he didn’t use the abbreviation.

His punishment? He sat out a single inning. After all, he was the best player, and the coach valued re-living the glory years he never actually had over correcting unacceptable behavior.  And given that children mimic everything, the message was received loudly and clearly, that bad actions have no consequences — especially if you’re a "star."

Our failure to hold young people accountable — in areas from sports to school, and work to home, is directly responsible for the unspeakable events leaving us in disbelief.

The irony is that we should not be surprised, since such behavior was eminently predictable. We have deliberately allowed our values system to become massively skewed. It's now devoid of common sense and right from wrong.

Rather, those principles have been replaced with a winning at all costs attitude; even by cheating if necessary.  This is an all-encompassing sense of entitlement, and a do whatever one wants, whenever one wants mentality.

It's a mindset. One combined with unprecedented coddling and a victimhood culture where everyone is to blame except oneself, and it has produced an entire generation unable to cope with the real world. Most are merely dysfunctional. Yet increasing numbers snap, taking matters to extremes, by ending their own lives — and more tragically — the lives of others.

The school massacre in Parkland, Florida was the latest tragedy.

Par for the course, the debate has gone off the rails. Blind partisanship and the quest for social media fame has trumped not just civil discussion, but something even worse — the ability to ask the most important questions.

Questions like:

  • Why are they happening only now, since they never occurred before?

  • What has changed in such a short period that young people now view suicide and cold-blooded murder as perfectly acceptable methods of "achievement?" 

  • What has led them to believe that such behavior will be romanticized on social media, instead of viewed as evil?

  • What, if anything, can be done to reverse the mentality that doing the unthinkable is just a normal path to a glorified legacy, and why it isn’t "unthinkable" to the offenders?

Certainly, we should be talking about other "tactical" issues, from arming teachers to restricting guns. Fine. Debate them. But it is naïve (not to mention arrogant) to say that any of those things will prevent a massacre.

They can, at best, mitigate the chances.

It's human nature to find solutions to mind-numbing questions via the path of least resistance. That may ease the burden on our soul; make us feel good about ourselves. It solves nothing. The proof is in the pudding, as massacres and wildly disturbing behavior become ever-increasingly routine.

There is no one answer. In point of fact, our cultural degradation and resultant killings are borne from many interwoven reasons. Some are more profound than others. None are trivial. Their cumulative effect has produced the most un-empathetic generation in history. Is there a solution? Sure, but truthfully, highly unlikely to be enacted, for the simple reason that today’s society (parents in particular) express an unwilling to change their lifestyle to accommodate and facilitate such changes. Talking a good game is one thing, but having the will to do it is something entirely different.

Each of the following areas, to varying degrees, has played an instrumental part in our culture’s change.

This is not simply a compiled list, but an illustration of an untenable way of life created by everyone from baby boomers to Millennials. We introduced this behavior, enabled it, and encouraged it. We continue to promote it, but ironically, we excuse it when it blows up in our face, blaming everything else but the very problem itself — us.

Here’s why we have lost our children to a culture of fear and violence:

Lack of Mirrors. The inability of people to assess themselves honestly has allowed a running hypocrisy going unchecked. Many often preaching fairness, manners, sportsmanship and setting a good examples are the very ones backstabbing colleagues at work, screaming uncontrollably at youth games, and instructing their children to win at any cost — regardless of rules or teamwork.

Players routinely ignore teammates by shooting as soon as the ball touches their hands —then immediately check their stats at the scorer’s table instead of attending the post-game team meeting, often with no repercussions. Bad behavior left uncorrected becomes the norm.

Helicopter Parenting. Parents, teachers, administrators, and coaches hover over our children, attempting to sanitize adversity and create a risk-free life. They organize playdates,choose teams during recess, ban tag, and stop keeping score so the losing team isn’t offended.

But those children, and the adults they become, eventually must step outside that all-protective bubble. The result is an entire generation unable to process, let alone effectively deal with, things that don’t always go their way.

For some, any rejection leads to violence. Someone doesn’t like them, they fail, they get fired, a teacher or boss disciplines them. Now it’s rampage time, even when that rampage is self-directed, as suicide rates are at an all-time high.

We have warped a generation, producing manic children conditioned to fear everything, from walking to the bus stop (they’ll be kidnapped), to playing cops and robbers (they might become mass murderers). The creativity and curiosity that comes with being a kid has been erased, replaced with a structure so unnatural that social skills are nearly nonexistent.

It's no coincidence that when children played with toy guns, there were no school shootings. But when such toys became public enemy number one (guns were even digitally removed from the film "E.T."), shootings skyrocketed.

Guns have remained the same. It's our culture that has changed.

Disregarding Laws and Rules. Leaders picking and choosing what laws to follow has promoted the do whatever mindset.

When governors and mayors blatantly ignore federal laws (such as some immigration rules), simply because they don’t agree with them, they should be held accountable. But they aren’t, so such behavior becomes mainstreamed. Now, double standards have become the de facto law throughout America, breeding resentment and a total disregard for authority.

Greed and Unchecked Consumerism. Capitalism has freed millions from totalitarianism and provided a better life for countless more. But these last several generations have taken it to the extreme, believing they are entitled to the very best material things. Third-graders routinely tout the latest cellphones costing over $1,000. Once baseball players donned a hat, shirt and glove, now almost every player has his own helmet, $300 composite bats, and bat bags rivaling premium luggage. Youth basketball players think $150 sneakers make them better — and somehow entitles them to mouth off to referees

College grads expect a new BMW at the age of 21 — without earning it — along with $125,000 for their first job (with mom and dad attending job interviews and aggressively following up during the hiring process), despite a proclivity to show up late, leave early, and consider deadlines as arbitrar. That mentality only grows increasingly stronger.

Entitlement and coddling have left our children completely unprepared for life’s adversities. With no change in sight, tragic suicides and massacres will become ever more common.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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Entitlement and coddling have left our children completely unprepared for life’s adversities. With no change in sight, tragic suicides and massacres will become ever more common. Is there a solution? Sure, but society is unwilling to change.
coddling, entitlement, millennials
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2018-58-09
Friday, 09 March 2018 10:58 AM
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