September 27, 2006

Don't Forget To Win First Place

This article is not surprising. I've seen it from a long time ago; even when I was in high school it seemed there were some teenagers who tried hard to do everything and excel at everything. It's no wonder that the pressure of being an ├╝berkinder like this causes depression in young people. When a 4.0 grade point average isn't good enough, when lettering in a sport isn't good enough, when you have to be more than perfect, all the joy in doing these things goes away and, to a significant degree, the meaning of "excellence" is redefined.

I think it's easy to shake off a concern like this as pity for "poor little rich kids." And it's certainly true that a lot of these kids will be affluent, to support all of the activities that they have to do. But it's indicative of society at large, and we're all under pressure to constantly be on the go, constantly be working and be productive, to constantly distinguish ourselves.

Although it's important to try to excel and be excellent at what we do, and it's good to demonstrate these things, it's also important to be happy. That, after all, is the real reason we are doing so much in all of our lives, and our teenagers are no different. I take this as a reminder to not put so much pressure on myself and slow down. Distinguishing myself will happen, too, but it's more important to be happy.

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