What is so bad about struggling with life?


by Jeffrey M. Welch

We've all heard of helicopter parenting, a recent revision of this idea is "bulldozer" parenting, where parents move every obstacle out of their child's way to avoid pain, suffering, or struggle. It seems obvious to me what the problems are with this idea. More sad is the increasing trend in schools, colleges, and life in general, to protect people from... life. A life without effort or hard work sounds ideal and utopian, but it doesn't make for robust people who can think for themselves and solve problems. It makes sheep who are easily scared and will do as told. This is not the world I want to live in.

In his article "The Wilds of Education," Frank Bruni examines the downsides to these ideas and the ridiculous state of affairs this has led to around the country in our schools. Banned books, the end of academic freedom, and the nanny-school district are not trends that we should quietly go along with.

A short disclaimer: I don't think that at the extreme ends of struggle we are doing much help for our society in letting a certain element of our citizenry toil in employment in horrible conditions for little pay or mental stimulation. The best kind of struggle in intellectual, worrying about how you are going to feed your kid tomorrow can't be fun for anybody. That is a different post though.

Image attribution: "First Tractor Company - old working model - 01" by Anna Frodesiak - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:First_Tractor_Company_-_old_working_model_-_01.jpg#mediaviewer/File:First_Tractor_Company_-_old_working_model_-_01.jpg