This blogger doesnÂt have the answers. My only quest is to urge people to look within before looking without. If your child is failing or under-achieving, why? What can you do that doesnÂt involve blaming George Bush or your great-great-great grandfatherÂs white owner? Do you encourage achievement in the home? Is it filled with books and other learning materials, or is it filled with vapid DVDs and the sounds of vacuous TV shows? Is the TV on from the time your kids get home from school, or are the children required to complete their homework or engage in activities that stimulate and develop the intellect?Yes, that is right, parental involvement. Plain and simple. Whatever happened to old fashioned hard work and perseverance that my grandma used to teach me? She would say "...boy, you do your best and God will take care of the rest." Does that still hold true today? I used to get whooped (spanked for those who don't speak ebonics) by my dad for bringing home a C or worse. Not that every parent should punish their child for getting bad grades in this way, yet there is something to holding a child accountable for the performance.
"I don't say these things because I believe in the "brute" nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."Finish reading the whole speech here.
- Vince Lombardi (NFL Head Coach for Green Bay Packers 1958-67)
When I was a kid I used to watch these old NFL football high lights shows with my father. At the time I didn't really understand football, let alone know how to play. Yet, for some reason I loved watching the old footage of players running, hitting, tacking, sometimes exhausted, frustrated and even angry. Of course I loved the segments of touch-downs, pass completions and amazing quarter-back sacks or long yard drives. Yet, some of the most memorable for me was that of Vince Lombardi and the Greenbay Packers. Hearing his inspirational talks and seeing how he interacted with his team moved me for some reason. Although I am too young to even really understand the era this man came from, I find myself to be a fan of his none-the-less, a fan of his accomplishments, of his legacy, but most of all a fan of his ability to lead. His ability to inspire. His desire to win.
When I listen to all of the meandering, whining and excuse-making that takes place in our public schools especially, i.e. how our children are dropping out and getting pregnant because schools need more money, yeah right! Or among our elitist politicians, who seem to change positions about as often as a baby with diarrhea changes diapers, I think about men like Vince Lombardi who never made excuses for failure and always stressed for perfection in all things. It would seem that we don't really do this anymore. We as a society seem to almost encourage mediocrity and borderline insanity. When I speak with other parents and teachers they are always afraid of being critical of others, no one wants to stand up and just say what is right anymore. My sons last school didn't even use grades any longer, just ambiguous terminology and a stupid numbering system. How is any child expected to succeed if they don't even know what failure looks like? How do you truly measure success if no one fails?
I posted this quote with the hope of giving you inspiration and maybe some of you out there, like myself, feel that this world has forgotten what greatness looks like what real success is, and most importantly, what the cost of real success is. I like to go back and read some of the writings and quotes from great men just to keep myself from going completely insane. I want to always remember what real success and greatness looks like and most importantly, to understand what it isn't.