Friday, June 29, 2012

Piece of Evidence #976 in My Ongoing Thesis That America is Going to Hell in a Handbasket

So today we were at the horse show that wraps up horseback riding camp. [Admit it, you were 100% sure I was going to write about the Obamacare decision. Ha!]  It was hot, damn hot with temps in the high eighties by 8am. Morrigan rode well, seemed happy and was awarded a blue (1st place) ribbon. The McKs were all good.

All smiles!

After 4 (?) years of these things, I have learned the ribbon structure. If you accomplish the tasks you are supposed to with relative competency, you are awarded a blue ribbon. Everyone else gets a red (2nd place) ribbon. I have yet to see a 3rd place handed out. Clearly, we are looking to have happy outcomes here though I do appreciate the slight nod to the fact that there might be some differing performances. Not everyone automatically gets a blue ribbon.


There was a little girl in Morrigan's group who received a 2nd place ribbon. She lost it. She sat in the saddle as she received her award, crying the entire time. Before you think I am too heartless, I am not down on the gal for crying. She looked younger than Morrigan and was clearly disappointed. 

What I am down on is the reaction of either her parents or the directors of the camp. 

In my world, if Morrigan were to have a tearful reaction, there would be encouragement, telling her if she works hard, she can get a blue ribbon next time. (Though admittedly if the sniveling went on too long, that might morph into "buck up camper.") 

But instead, someone decided that little Suzie (names changed to protect the innocent) should have her place changed and get a blue ribbon.


If the camp decided this on their own, shame on them for such pandering. And shame on the parents for allowing the change to be made. Or worse shame if they requested it. But what we have is just one more example of how we are taking opportunities to teach our children about hard work, achievement and properly rewarding success and throwing it away, instructing them instead that they get a blue ribbon for just showing up because GOD FORBID anyone feel bad, ever. 

Not to mention that in this case, we've taught a little girl that crying will help her get her way. Hello! Way to re-enforce just the type of behavior we should be trying to discourage in kids, especially girls. Bursting into tears will not get you ahead in the real world. 

The 'Noke here is a small town and there is a reasonable chance the parents of said child might find this rant. Dude, I couldn't care less. As parents, as a community, and as a country, if we want our children to be able to succeed, we have to prepare them for the fact that there will be disappointment in their lives. By pretending it will always be sunshine and blue skies, we are doing them a disservice. 

And if you want to know how I feel about the Supreme Court, feel free to ask. I'll give ya an earful.


  1. Resilience is a muscle that needs regular exercise from a very tender age!

  2. That's crazy. Doing that taught that child nothing -except that if she cries enough someone will give her what she wants. I am in total agreement with you. I really don't understand people anymore.

    I'd love to hear your feelings on the Supreme Court. I am sure we could have a fabulous conversation about it. :)

  3. No thanks on the Supreme Court opinion, but I am with you on the free for all with the "awards". Stop the madness!!! "The world needs ditch diggers too", Caddyshack