Observations on life

Something to put on the mantelpiece

… we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece …

David McCullough, Jr  – High school commencement speech 2012

How better to describe our society; form over substance if you will. How better to describe the cackling of politicians over accomplishments which are no more than effort without measure or follow up or result sustained. 


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  1. I would agree. Somewhere teaching sharing has become entitlement to small children. You get a trophy just for showing up. I hated that when my son was little because that was what was being taught in the various sport leagues. By high school, it was expected; get a passing grade for showing up, no hard work required. I can only imagine that it is worst today with No Child Left Behind. When these kids get out into the work force they are totally unprepared for failure or the reality of hard work gets you ahead not just showing up. No wonder that socialism has such a strong appeal to many, everybody get something for nothing. Little do they want to believe that you never get something for free.

    I believe that we need a strong middle class but I also believe that it should not be a given and one must work for it. If it were not for the drive of competition or innovation were would the world be. Those that have the drive should be rewarded not taxed to give money to the slackers.


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