Doug Coffey of Sombra Ontario who writes to me quite regularly, reminded me of the most basic principle of success that I’ve been editorializing about without ever really defining what it is.
Without open, and virtually unbridled competition, we in North America wouldn’t have the unbelievable lifestyle we enjoy today. The very worst thing in any society is the lack of competition where people are encouraged to be just average.
There are many ways to stifle competition. But the best way to kill the entrepreneurial free spirit is to do it from Nursery School to the completion of an Undergraduate University Program, where competition to be better than everyone else is substituted with just being good enough. And far too often not even that.
I was reading a while ago about a school philosophy that says: Because they’ve tried, we should provide sentiments of success to students who fail.
Last week, I read that students want to be given marks just for showing up.
We now read that Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario has ‘hired’ six students whose job it is to eavesdrop on private conversations for the exclusive purpose of hearing if any derogatory issues are discussed.
They are then instructed to intercede and set the conversationalists ‘straight’.
The university claims that the six students (snitches) are there to make certain their fellow students do not say anything disparaging about sensitive issues. Big Brother is alive and well.
So, not only are our children being rewarded for failure at the earliest of ages, they are being spied-upon at Queen’s University to make certain that their opinions will always be Politically Correct.
The LEFT have insidiously taken over education from virtually the cradle to university under graduation; where they extol the virtues of mediocrity, and show disdain for the concept of winner take all competition.
When I was in grade school more than 50 years ago, we all knew who we were in scholastic achievement. I was on the average side. I was OK with that. Some of my friends were on the much higher side. I was OK with that too. And some of the kids were below average. And that too was fine.
Even in our very young years, we knew that some of us were much better at certain things than others, while some of us couldn’t measure up regardless.
Not only was I not a very good student academically, I wasn’t all that good at sports either. I was average. When we used to have pick-up games where the captains of each side would pick their teammates in order of excellence, I was always happy NOT to be picked last, which from time to time I was.
But that never stopped me from playing.
I played a lot of hockey. I was able to do all the things necessary to be good enough on the ice. I was able to skate forward and backwards at decent speeds. I could pass and shoot the puck. And I was a pretty fair checker. But I could never dream of playing like so many of my friends.
I played a lot of football too. I wasn’t very fast. But I was able to catch most of what came my way. And it was hard for the competition to knock me off my feet. But I couldn’t hold a candle next to most of the other guys.
I fought in Karate tournaments and lost more than I won. But I fought with everything I had every time I faced an opponent. There too, I knew that I could never measure up.
I was a great swimmer in comparison to most people. I competed at all levels, to the point of once dreaming of making it all the way to the Olympics. I was a lifeguard and lifeguard instructor with the Royal Life Saving Society. And I competed with the Quebec team.
If I wasn’t in school or working, and you wanted to find me from the time I was 15 years old to 17 years old, all you had to do was find a swimming pool were I could swim lengths, and I was probably there.
When it came to the REAL competition where I had to swim against Canada’s best, there was no comparison between them and me.
But, whether I lost by a touch or a couple of lengths, it didn’t matter because I swam my heart out every time I dove into my lane. I held nothing back even though I never had any illusions of winning.
I ride horses. I love horses. I’m around horses 24/7. I can’t imagine not being around horses. But, as much as I love horses and everything about them, and how much time I’ve spent in the saddle, I will never be as good a rider as so many others who sit the saddle as if they were born to it.
But that does not dampen my love or enthusiasm for being with horses.
As most of you probably know from reading Galganov.com, I’m a real political animal. I live, breath, think and write about politics. It is my one real addiction. Yet, whenever I run for office, I inevitably get the crap kicked out of me. But I still do it nonetheless.
I grew up knowing that I would never be a star. Not in school, not in sports, not in business and not socially. But I never once entertained the idea of not trying.
AND I NEVER WANTED TO WIN BECAUSE THE OTHER ‘GUY’ WAS HELD BACK – NEVER!
Competition makes the best of us better. And it gives an ordinary person like me, the opportunity and impetus to reach beyond my grasp. I will NEVER be as good as the best in anything I try, but I will always try, knowing that my best will be good enough at least for me.
Schools are stealing this opportunity and a vital competitive lifeline from our children, by taking away the NECESSITY of failure, and leveling the playing field to the point where there is no longer a game to be played.
We are all suffering for it. And it will get much worse before it gets better.
In my next editorial, I will write about how much worse it will get. And how much pain we will suffer before we make it better.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov.