Using a Writing Prompt

Interesting composition showing ordinary against special. (https://flic.kr/p/joy44a)
@jerzgirl (8013)
Gloucester City, New Jersey
November 28, 2015 4:30pm CST
I learned about a writing prompt site from a former Bubbler almost two years ago (thanks@farmer123 ), so I went to take a look. I found a quote I wanted to give my take on and here is what I wrote. "The U.S. believes: Everyone has the right to be special. Europe holds: Being ordinary should be OK for everyone." - Alain de Botton I don't think that these two perspectives are mutually exclusive. The US mindset doesn't say that it's NOT OK to be ordinary, but that they have the right to be special. In other words, everyone here has the right to try to be the best at whatever it is that they are doing. The European mindset, on the other hand, doesn't say that no one should be special or excel. They are saying that if you don't excel, for whatever reason, it's OK to just be an everyday person. I have no problem with either statement insofar as they are written. However, there is a tendency in the US to convert that "has the right to be special" into something that has a meaning closer to "needs to be exceptional", something more akin to having bragging rights, something for which to thump our chests and cheer with fists in the air. It's almost as though we have, as a culture, become so insecure that we feel the need to prove "WE'RE #1" and we have the sponge fingers to prove it! We're so afraid someone else will come in first that we obsess over everything. Meanwhile, our kids are falling farther and farther behind in the areas of mathematics and science, so we force schools to "teach to the test" in order to get better grades on the books so we look good. But, are we really improving? How many college freshmen need to take remedial language, math and science classes just so they can BEGIN a college level course? Our colleges are now doing the job our high schools used to do - teaching the basics. And, when I was in high school, I was being taught subjects that my grandmother had studied BEFORE 8th grade. Something is wrong. Do we have the right to be special? Absolutely!! But, I'm afraid that we have forgotten that it was the ordinary that got us to where we are today.
2 people like this
1 response
@amadeo (67480)
• United States
28 Nov 15
yes,something is wrong.The whole system is changing.
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (8013)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
29 Nov 15
Disintegrating, I think. We're so afraid to make kids EARN their grades that we basically give them the answers and make learning easier so they don't have to struggle. You can go too far the other way, but geez, louise, people gotta learn!!