Entitlement and Mob Rule

This week’s winners are far apart from a topical point of view. But I always manage to find a crossroads where seemingly disparate topics seem to overlap.

Council winner The Colossus of Rhodey discusses the sense of entitlement that students in our schools demand. Thinking incorrectly that merely showing up for school and in some cases trying harder than others (by their estimation) is some sort of accomplishment American students feel they deserve an elevated grade regardless of the result. Teachers feel the pressure to buy into this premise, often capitulating to administrators, parents and other outside forces that seek to elevate grades for a myriad of reasons. It is this sense of entitlement that fails our kids in a world where feeling good does not generate revenue.

It reminds me of my early days of Tae Kwon Do. We had a head master that was very good but had one huge flaw. He was very active in the politics of Tae Kwon Do with respect to the Olympics and the Do Jang status. Many organizations compete to be the recognized body for the Olympic designation (USA Tae Kwon Do, world TKD, international, and various spins on the basic forms and rules). The more black belts in the school the better. And let’s not forget that belt testing is a form a revenue. The end result however was students that were promoted not based on accomplishment as much as time spent in the Do Jang. End result was that some students would compete against students in other schools that were justifiably fighting at the level at which the head master put them at. And some supposed black belts got the crap kicked out of them as a result.

This is the same in our schools. Entitlement results in artificial accomplishment and our kids come out of school often with big grades and low ability; ready to get the crap kicked out of them on the job front against more learned foreigners.

The non-winning council entry chronicled the plight of Christopher Hitchens, Jonathan Foreman and Michael J. Trotten in Beirut where they were attacked after Hitchens defaced a sign belonging to the Syrian Social Nationalist Party that bears a symbol resembling a Nazi swastika. The group is terroistic and the signs are supposedly not permitted. But being terrorists affords the group a certain sense of entitlement so they often impose their own brand of justice. It was clear that the three men were not going to be helped by spectators as Hichtens was getting pummeled in the street.

So this week we see two sides to entitlement, none of them positive.

Congrats to the winners. Share and enjoy!

Winning Council Submissions

Winning Non-Council Submissions