Monday, June 23, 2014

Interesting Observation

'In 1951 more than 10,000 youngsters between the ages of fourteen and sixteen were asked whether they agreed with the statement, "I am an important person." Only 12 percent answered that they did. This makes sense. After all, how many fourteen-year-olds are VIPs? The Dalai Lama's next incarnation? A millionaire singing sensation?

In 1989, the same question was asked, and the results were startlingly different: 80 percent of girls and 77 percent of boys believed they were important persons. Where did a bunch of kids get this inflated sense of self-worth? From grown-ups who worried that children with poor self-esteem would not succeed in life. These people meant well, but their fears were misplaced. The teenagers with the lowest self-esteem today are the same ones who usually shine as the academic stars of their schools: Asian Americans. Self-esteem has nothing to do with the practice of actual virtues.....Young egos need restraining, not encouragement. A fourteen-year-old does not have much time to think about herself when she is busy thinking how she is treating others
-Linda Przybyszewski in her book, The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish


Rain Trueax said...

Maybe this study should have looked more at what made the children say they were important. Was it that they were to their families, to friends, or was it the broader concept of important. I think we do have a problem with teaching people they are entitled to happiness, success, the prettiest girl and maybe that's what this is about. It certainly won't lead to happy life to have a false sense of one's own importance or what is supposed to drop into their laps.

la peregrina said...

I agree, Rain, an overdeveloped sense of entitlement is one of the main problems in our society today. An overdeveloped sense of entitlement leads to arrogance which in turn lowers any feelings of empathy for others. We see this in politics, with some men in their relationships with their wives or girlfriends or women in general, with some religious groups, and in war. Putin comes to mind on the last one.