How many times have students been told that if they work hard enough they can achieve any goal they want (“We Tell Our Kids That Hard Work Always Pays off. What Happens When They Fail Anyway?” Time, May 23)? It’s all a matter of effort.
But reality is quite different. There are no guarantees in life. The problem is that when young people learn the hard truth, they become depressed or angry. From an early age, they’ve been conditioned to believe the myth of fairness. That’s why when they are not accepted at the college of their choice, they feel devastated.
The best way to prepare them for life is to tell them to do the very best they can, and then let go. Yes, hard work and determination are important. But they cannot assure success. That goes for all fields. In fact, some of the most valuable lessons come from failure.
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