Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Asshole Theorem

I read something yesterday that made me realize why there seem to be such an inordinate number of assholes out there.

You see, back in the early to mid-90's, some asshole did a study and realized that the school kids who got good grades, had lots of friends and were generally succeeding all had really high self esteem. Then, in a classic case of getting everything ass backwards, it was decided that these kids were doing well because they had such high self esteem….not that they had high self esteem because they were doing so well.

Basically, instead of coming to the logical conclusion that 'succeeding things makes you feel good about yourself', these idiots decided that 'feeling good about yourself makes you succeed.'

So, just about everyone bought into this because it's another easy 'quick fix' that requires no actual effort. Why study and work hard when 'if you just believe hard enough' you can get whatever you want? This is why winning and losing was taken out of school. It's why my cousin (a primary school teacher) is only allowed to mark work in green pen because red is too aggressive.

Suddenly, the disruptive kid wasn't an unruly little shi who needed discipline, he was 'creative' and needed to 'express himself'. Little Timmy, who came dead last in all his races on sports day got a trophy that was just as big and nice as Little Stevie's, who won all his races, because if we make a big deal out of Stevie's victory, it makes Little Timmy feel bad about himself.

In other words, we raised a whole generation of kids who spent their formative years being given rewards for nothing and being told their failures doesn't matter, because they're all wonderful people and it's the trying that counts.

All those kids who started school in the early 90's are rapidly approaching their twenties now.

So, right now, we have a whole generation of people with an over-inflated sense of entitlement. Despite having never actually earned a goddamn thing, they believe they should get whatever they want because they've spent their entire lives being told just how fucking awesome they are…and as numerous studies and real world examples have shown, they get aggressive when anyone calls their inflated sense of self-worth into question.

Inflating a kid's self esteem and making them feel just great about themselves no matter what they do doesn't make them successful. It just turns them into an adult who thinks the world owes them whatever they want.

Basically, feeling bad about yourself when you fail at something makes you work harder next time and makes you understand that you only get what you want by working for it. We raised a generation conditioned to feel good about themselves no matter what who think failure and poor performance warrants the same rewards that people who excel get.

That's why there are so many assholes. The guy who stole your parking space as you where backing into it doesn't think he's an asshole. He thinks he's an amazing, special person who really deserves that space because he's so important.


Anonymous said...

this is what I am talking about..

can we send this to every PTA meeting in America and let them integrate it into their brains!

entitlement went out with monarchy's...lets leave it that way.


marie said...

I actually agree with you Paul. Shocking huh? Its important to get dissapointed and lose sometimes. as a mother I hate it, but kids have to learn to deal with that and overcome it. Because as adults they are not going to get their way and will dissapointed alot. They'll need those early lessons as a basis to fall back on.