Friday, September 17, 2010

Study shows 60% of Americans overconfident

There was an interesting poll done last wee by MSNBC that basically concluded that up to 60% of us are satisfied with our bodies the way they are. And while most wouldn't necessarily say they have the "ideal body," they were otherwise content with the way they looked.

Ironically, another poll shows that about 60% of Americans are overweight. In fact, what's even more interesting is a story in, "Most of us think we're hotter than average," is that the story starts, "We're fatter than we've ever been; at the same time, our idea of the 'ideal' body has gone from lean to possibly leaner. Still, we're pretty damn pleased with the way we look, a new survey suggests."

So we Americans are satisfied. Yet we don't have ideal bodies. You can look at this three ways. Either many are truly content with ourselves, or they are lying, or they are fooled into thinking they are better than they really are.

I would guess that most people are lying. And a majority of the rest are probably fooled. I say this because I know that kids these days in government run schools are not told that they are failures. They are told they are good at whatever they do. They never lose, because in sports we don't keep score.

So they often think they are better than they really are.

A perfect example of this is American Idol. You have people going up on stage and they start singing, only to have their hearts broken when they are told, "You can't sing."

"What!" they chant.

"Why did you think you were a good singer?"

"Well, everybody told me I was good."

"Then they were only saying that because they didn't want to hurt your feelings. The truth is: you can't sing. In fact, you stink at it."

That's why we need to stop lying to our kids. We need to be honest with them. When we don't tell kids the truth, when we tell them they are better than they really are, we are setting them up for failure.

For example, when you keep "placing" kids to the next grade level even though they got all D's in school and are definitely not ready for the next level, then when they get out of school, and are vying for a real job, and they fail, they are going to be unprepared for it.

Capitalism is all about failure. You fail, you get fired, yet to succeed you have to learn from your mistakes and get back on the horse, or a different horse more suited for you. That's life. That's how life has been for 5,000 years plus.

Yet all of a sudden we have progressives come into American schools and tell kids they are the best at every thing they try, and we condition them so they think they can't fail. Yet when they do, they fall big time. They have trouble getting back up. And we create a less than ideal society.

Look at the poll results. It started about 30 years ago that kids were taught they were too good to fail. Parents quit keeping score. Kids were told from the day they were born that they were better than they really are.

So the poll results of people under 30 show that they are the most confident, with 28% of women under 30 and 30% of men under 30 rating their confidence as an 8 out of a possible 10. They were the most confident group.

All of us will fail from time to time in life. We learn character from failing. And the best place to learn how to fail is when we are young; when we are in school. So, are 60% of Americans really content with their lives.

Don't get me wrong, because confidence is a good thing. Yet it's better when we earn confidence. It's better when we become confident because we took a risk and we succeeded. It's better to earn confidence because we have become the best we can be.

Maybe so. It's a good thing. Yet it's also a possibility that many among us are overconfident because our progressive teachers and our progressive parents provide us with a false image of ourselves. If they are satisfied, they won't strive to become better.

That, I am afraid, is scary if true.

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