Over the past several decades, as we and then our children have been steeped in self-esteem — “good for you!” — and cocooned in bubble wrap, we have exchanged common sense and personal responsibility for entitlement and litigiousness. We are quick to condemn and take offense, confuse privileges with rights, and have abandoned civilized debate.
So I’m not particularly surprised to learn that there are rafts of Americans who do not want their children, anyone’s children, to hear the following message:
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world -–and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. …
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try. …No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.