Monday, August 22, 2011

Rewarding Failure

I understand that the title of "Rewarding Failure" can be applied in many instances in our society today. I am going to apply it to something that I was just told by my wife's 11-year-old cousin this past week.

She was in a small class, and they were split into pairs. They were given a set of ten math problems, adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying fractions. Her pair got the most right in the class, and therefore won Cokes. The catch? She and her partner only got four out of the ten right.
In another circumstance, they were individually working on problems. They were given four problems and promised a piece of candy for each problem they got right. She got the most right in the class, and therefore got her "prize" doubled. She got two out of four correct.

They are rewarding students for failing grades - forty and fifty percent. Is it any wonder our education system is in shambles? Then again, they aren't just applying this principle in our schools either, they are applying it everywhere.
  • Fail in business? Get a bailout.
  • Fail to plan for retirement? Get a dwindling Social Security check.
  • Fail to plan for a family? Get Medicaid and public housing.
  • Fail at living morally? Get free room and board with exercise rooms, library, and degree program. Or, just an "attaboy" slap on the wrist with public assistance to help you "recover".
  • Fail at work ethic? Just pop out another baby and we'll increase your welfare payment.
  • Add your fail here?(or in the comments, rather)
What they are doing is creating a system in which failure to learn from mistakes is being normalized and okay'd. Failure in itself is good, if the only reward for it is knowledge of how to succeed the next time. When we reward failure for being failure, with things other than just knowledge, we have crossed a dangerous line. Where is the impetus for improvement? Why would anyone want to improve themselves if they are being rewarded for being not just average, but below average?

Now, consider what happens to those who learn from failures and pull themselves up to success. In school they are derided to get back in line for the failure handouts. At work they are called ***-kissers. By the government, they are forced to abide by stifling regulations and pay inordinate amounts of taxes.

Now what happens when the successes decide to withdraw consent from the system? The failures no longer have a sugar daddy, because daddy's money ran out. What happens when you tell the bear you just tossed the fish to that that was your last fish, even if he's still hungry? Better yet, what happens when you have twenty bears around you, but only five fish? Doesn't sound pretty, does it? Yet think about our entitlement system, the reward-for-failure system. How many more dependents can it hold until the government runs out of fish, airlifts itself out of the way, and tells the bears its all our fault?

Get ready. You saw the hits our market has taken the past two weeks. Yeah, the hits that weren't supposed to happen if the debt ceiling got raised. When are we going to wake up? The house of cards is about to fall, just needs someone to bump the table. How many warnings will we get?

Don't wait. Get prepared spiritually first, then physically. And you might want to get on that really soon.

Act Free.

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