Ageism, I caught it.

Looks like I have reached that point, the “Hey-you-kids,-get-off-my-lawn” stage of my life.  Why?  Because I knew exactly how old this blogger was by the way she wrote Comparison Kills.

Box of stars
Box of stars

When I was a child, we walked to school up hill, both ways.  In reality though, many times I literally walked to school backwards because it was so windy it was a better way to keep warm that way.  No, I didn’t live out west, I lived in a suburb north of New York City.  School was really far, or so it felt like to a second grader.  It doesn’t matter, we walked.  My mother didn’t drive me to school every day, and she most certainly didn’t wait at the end of the driveway with neither a heated nor air conditioned car for my comfort.  If it were cold, she told me to wear my coat and if it were raining, to take my umbrella.

The line that gave the blogger away:

“Amongst our social media generation we have grown up in a soft generation. A generation of participation trophies, kissing up, and political correctness. We’ve grown up with this mindset that the world owes us something that stems from this fallacy that life should be fair.”

My mother used to tell me all the time that life wasn’t fair.  Particularly more so after my sister was born, like when I thought she got a bigger gift than I did at Christmas. (She did.)

When we were children, we literally got gold stars on our homework assignments from our teachers.  Everyone didn’t get a gold star, only those students who were worthy got a gold one.  Maybe you got a green or blue one, but not everyone who handed in homework got a star for doing their homework.  Fair right?

After reading Bryce’s blog, I thought how ironic that she is writing about “Keeping up with the Jones’s”, when she herself seems like one of the Jones.  Having access to horses her whole childhood because her mom is an A rated trainer in California.  Living in Cali also allowed her to ride all the time and not just when the weather was nice, think winter, snow and ice.  Spending a summer in Europe working at a sales barn.  It seems the list was endless for her short life.  She even has her own blog telling us all about it.

Here she is at 19 years old, giving advice and explaining how she is learning that life isn’t fair.

Then it occurred to me, it wasn’t her fault that she was finding out how life really works, that her struggles with insecurity, independence and self esteem were real, even if she grew up seemingly well off.  Growing up in the “everyone-gets-a-trophy” era didn’t seem to help her at all.  In fact, she seemed to be far worse off for it, finding out much later in life that the only thing that really counts, is you.

“We’ve become so wrapped up in focusing on what we are not and have forgotten what we are.”

That is a very sad statement from a 19 year old.

“We’ve become so wrapped up in focusing on what we are not and don’t know who we are.”  – FYP

My condemnation of her and her ilk changed to empathy as I thought how life might be harder for those who grew up thinking they couldn’t fail.  Instead of learning to try harder for your gold star as a young child, a generation of kids are awakening to the fact that their gold star might be meaningless, and that they may have been duped.  Worse, the Jones’s now have a web log, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account to compare yourself to.

“This post was inspired by my best friend who convinced me I needed to curb my social media addiction and remember I don’t totally suck at this whole riding thing.”

Good advice from your friend.  Remember, pay attention to your horse, it doesn’t care about gold stars, fancy clothes, or blue ribbons.  Do and be the best you can be, no matter what you are doing…except blogging.  Stop blogging and go ride.  And when you have children, don’t use up all the gold stars.

5 thoughts on “Ageism, I caught it.”

  1. You must not have read much of Bryces blog, or you would have seen what a hard working individual she truly is. For someone who is in her teens, she displays an incredible sense of self awareness, recognizing her advantages while also admitting her limitations. Of course being involved in the horse world is an amazing opportunity, which Bryce acknowledges time and time again, but there a huge divide between those who can “buy it” in the industry and those who must work up, and Bryce is working like hell up.

    1. I did read her blog and I didn’t say she wasn’t a hard worker. I think she will be a success in whatever she chooses to do! It’s why I said, just ride your horse…because you can’t ever worry about what other people have. Focus on you and your horse.

  2. Maybe you didn’t get gold stars because you spend more time tearing those around you down than focusing on improving your own work

    1. Maybe you should reread what I wrote. I am not tearing her down. I’m saying it is unfortunate she has to go through this at her age. I’m also agreeing with her that you can’t worry about others, only yourself, and mostly worry about your horse. And I question, as she does, about a generation of children who all get trophies. The post really isn’t about her.

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