“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Sunday, August 24, 2008

If you don't win, did you loose?

The Westmoreland Fair is over and I hope was a success for the 4-H kids and people involved. The weather was cooperative if not a little hot. The snow-cone booth girl was smiling.

I'm just learning how the fair and 4-H functions like Girl and Boy Scouts. Its an educational and a practical living tool. It depends on the generosity of parents, sponsors and fair goers - especially the first two.

The one problem I have is with the parents and leaders complaining that the kids don't make money. Especially talking about the kids who raise animals for market. Is that the point? I don't think it is. Just like many other learning and educational experiences - you pay - either with time, financially and by missing out on something else. Its called sacrifice. You make trade-offs.

Kids who participate in sports at any level have to put in the time. But they don't get the same thing out of it even if the time and sacrifice is equal. Some parents pay a lot to have their kids participate and a minute few get a financial return. Talent, luck and the grace of God sets the order of success. Someone always wins and comes out on top, but that doesn't mean the other efforts were worthless. The participation, fitness and camaraderie are sometimes even lacking in payback for what is put in, but it is all learning. The Olympics finish today and there were a lot of "loosers" but what an experience. I wish I were so lucky.

I think the parents and leaders need to realize that paying for several weeks of experience learning about whatever the child participates in is worth the cost. What is the child gaining down the line. Working kids need experience. College kids need resumes. Writing about a devastating loss is as important as writing about winning and making money. Its how we learn -from mistakes, from winning - and from loosing.

No comments: