Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Being the best

I was just playing the game "Threes" (very addictive, highly recommended) with my son, and I was thinking, "Huh, this is a fun game, I wonder what's the highest number you can get?" Then I thought, oh jeez, there's got to be some kid in Estonia who has gotten some simply astronomical score–better not to even check. It's a unique time in history, I think, when we can so easily see the best in the world at just about everything. Is this good or bad? I can see it pushing people to get better, to be the best. I can see it making people give up entirely, thinking about how hopeless it would ever be to get so good at something (I find myself in this camp with most video games these days). Maybe some people even respond in the way we always imagine we would, namely ignoring the world at large and focusing rather on how to make ourselves better, which is the truest form of the journey we are on.

At the same time, our society has also evolved to make everyone feel like a "winner" all the time. Sometimes there are so many awards for stuff for kids that you would feel bad if your kid didn't win anything. Then we end up with these kids in college who can't believe that they got a B+ for getting the class average.  It's a strange dichotomy, I feel...

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