There has been a lot of discussion the last decade about the lack of toughness in America, and its possible effects on our society. The examples used have ranged from obesity coupled with a lack of physical activity, to our language and what is considered ok in civil conversations. We have had battles about feelings vs. accountability when it comes to communicating with people we work with or are friends with. If you were to watch tv shows from the last 20 years, you will see how much the language we use has shifted.
Progress in a society always seems to come along with some level of extra civility/sensitivity towards others. Overall this has been a very positive thing, that has allowed us to integrate to a level that is unprecedented if you take a look around a still very segregated and strictly structured world. Our tolerance of others and considerations of other cultures and attitudes have made us uniquely great. In my opinion, this is what has caused us to lead the way in global culture trends, leading to many cultures in foreign countries emulating our trends and ideas.
All that said, we have officially gone too far in our never ending quest for sensitivity/progress. The culture wars are most apparent on college campuses where much of them originate, and this is no exception to that. Cornell University after the election of Donald Trump had to set up “cry ins” for students who were distraught after the results of a fair election. They weren’t alone in their endeavor either, many colleges offered counseling, support groups, and some even went as far as cancelling classes and moving tests because their students were too traumatized to handle the responsibilities of class, because of the way math works….this is insane.
Our country was founded by adventurous explorers who braved dangerous seas, tamed a wild new world, learned entirely new ways to survive, and created the structure of this beautiful place we now call home. They were followed by generations who fought bloody wars, sacrificed thousands of lives building the infrastructures we now take for granted, and laid the foundation for global dominance that we enjoy today.
Winston Churchill once said…
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
He was one of the greatest individuals to ever step foot on this planet, and the core of his character was resilience. The core of our founders, those who fought in our great wars, those who built industries that defined this country, and those who have forged this country we live in through sheer will and determination, all revolved around resilience when faced with adversity. Our country seems to be losing that, particularly our country’s youth.
The snowflake mentality has served its purpose, and it is now time for us all to be exposed to a little heat. Anything worth doing requires work, and anything worth fighting for will be difficult to attain. If those students are upset, they don’t need to be coddled, they need to learn the ins and outs of politics and how elections work so they can fight back as so many dissatisfied voters have before them. They may be polar opposites, but they could learn a lot from the passion and determination of the Tea Party movement that changed the makeup of the House and Senate.
We have lost touch with what adversity feels like, and as a byproduct, we have forgotten how to properly react to and fight adversity. Next time you are up in arms about something, instead of looking for validation and comfort in shared consensus opinions, take your discomfort and sit with it. Decide if you can live with it or not, and if the answer is no, find a way to take action and create the change you want to see. Complaining without a solution does nothing and helps noone. From politics, colleges, relationships and careers, we would do well to remember that, and stop demanding to be treated like the special snowflakes we all know we aren’t.