Tag Archives: life

Always Reaching For That Brass Ring

A lot has been written about Gen-Y and Millenials and the culture of entitlement and self-esteem padding with which many of us were raised. For a long time I had a pretty distant relationship with this whole idea. I had a comfortable upbringing, but I was raised by overachievers and don’t recall ever having the “oh honey, you did your best” platitudes tossed at me when I didn’t deserve them and, frankly, I succeeded at nearly everything when I was young. If I got praised, it was because I legitimately did well at something, but I never got the kind of rampant fawning and pandering that some of my friends did. I never once got paid a cent for my grades, even though this was something of a common practice in the community where I grew up, nor do I recall getting more than a “good job” and maybe dinner out or something for any other achievement. That said, I sat through plenty of “let’s all love each other, ‘kay guys?” seminars in school, especially in middle school, and, just as an example, I vividly remember a girl who was so incensed at not being invited to take a special honors enrichment class during early period in the seventh grade that her parents paid for an outside assessment company to do an IQ test and petitioned the school to let her into the class. A couple weeks into school she was let into the class and, while everyone was perfectly nice about it, I remember thinking even then that her parents had done her a disservice by encouraging the idea that she deserved to get whatever she wanted and that throwing a hissy to the school administration over a slight that was, in the grand scheme of things, pretty minor was ridiculous and out of proportion. I was lucky enough, I suppose, to be pretty outgoing when I was younger and had a lot of varied interests that I was eager to explore, so I never had to be bribed or weedled into doing things the way many of my friends were forced or paid off to continue with softball or band or church groups or whatever other extracurricular activity their parents deemed important that my friends were no longer (or maybe never were) interested in. Continue reading

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