There’s a Party, and You’re Not Invited

Sometimes, in the course of your life, there will be parties to which you are not invited. Are you ok? Shall I fetch the smelling salts? If you’re still reading this, I’ll assume that you’re a reasonable human being…and that you’re not planning on raising your children in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. 

In this county, birthday party invitations have been banned from all schools. “If there are 20 individuals in the class and someone brings in seven birthday invitations, it was creating an academic disruption,” Hall said. “People were getting their feelings hurt.” Hurt feelings are bad. On this, we can agree. Unfortunately, they’re also part of life. This is a great opportunity for a child to learn that life comes with little bumps and bruises as well as techniques to overcome them. It’s a chance for the child who handed out the invitations to learn that actions have consequences. Maybe the other kids think he or she is rude now, and he won’t be invited to their parties. These are lessons that are important for children to learn if they are to be adults who are able to function in the real world. Who are we fooling?  In this age of Facebook and Instagram does anyone honestly believe that the children who weren’t invited won’t find out about the party anyway?

Unfortunately, our country is extending this bizarrely insulated existence into adulthood, and it shows. American college students are doing worse while thinking, more than ever, that they are “gifted” or “driven to succeed.” This inflated idea of self-worth is not helpful and it is not natural. This is a product of the “everybody gets a trophy” generation and it’s ruining our country. If left unchecked, the ruggedness and tenacity that we know and love about America will be lost. What will take its place? An America where narcissism is on the rise, adulthood is being delayed, and American boys could be “in crisis.”  

What happens when these children grow up and go out into the real world? Will they have the earned confidence to be self sufficient and a blessing or will the expect what they haven’t earned and become a burden?

We see this entitled ideology permeating even the top corporations now. Companies which can’t make it in the market complain to the government, and get a bailout, of course at someone else’s expense. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, since at the top, we have a president who is uniquely unqualified for the position but loves to talk about how great he is.

He talks about himself when giving a eulogy, he gave an iPod filled with his own speeches to Queen Elizabeth II, assuming that she would want to listen to him. He thinks that everyone wants to listen to him all the time. When feelings are ranked above the realities of human existence, we get a president who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, who apologizes for America around the world. 

When children aren’t allowed to experience the realities of imperfect life, they turn into adults with a warped view of the world. They don’t appreciate the good, because they’ve never felt the bad. This is damaging to our culture and our children. We’ve all been left off of an invitation list, and we all lived to tell the tale. In fact, we’re stronger for it. It’s good for kids to learn these lessons, so let’s not take that away from our children. It’s making America weird.