As I See It: What motivates you?
Motivation is an often-powerful force that leads most of us to some level of accomplishment or improvement in our lives.
Sometimes the motivation comes from an external source like our parents, siblings or peer group. It's usually far better when it comes from our internal desire to achieve and excel.
Some of the more common motivators are fame, prestige, the adulation of others, power and money. If it wasn't for the people who are motivated by empathy, charity and the well-being of others, this would be a pretty dreary, cynical society and world.
Sometimes I get the impression that's where we are headed anyway.
In my mind, mediocrity is almost akin to a terminal disease. In the many organizations and units in which I served or worked, mediocrity caused the most problems. If a person refused to work or conform to the established norms, he or she could be fired fairly easily. But the one who does half-hearted work with half-hearted effort infects others with frustration, anger or their own form of malaise.
It was even recognized in the Book of Revelation where God stated if you are neither hot nor cold I will spew you from my mouth!
Can you imagine a sports team at any level that had only mediocre players who didn't care if they won or lost? For certain there wouldn't be too many spectators at the games.
On the other hand, can you imagine an education system that continually gives passing grades to failing students just to pass them on? And in that system they stop formally recognizing the best performers so the worst performers won't feel bad. Can you imagine a social welfare system that provides benefits to people without any validation of need? Can you imagine an economic system that looks upon the rich only as slave owners and taskmasters who should be bled dry to perpetuate the social welfare system?
Most of these don't take much imagination if you take an unbiased look at how this country is being run today. Mediocrity is praised to the heavens; excellence is criticized as undeserved, or as being achieved on the backs of the less fortunate.
At the beginning of the Nuclear Age, a concept was espoused called the Nuclear Winter. In the event of nuclear war, even one that was relatively localized, the resulting fallout and atmospheric pollution would lead to much colder temperatures worldwide - agriculture and everything else would suffer significant and long-term damage leading to diseases and deaths.
I have this picture in my mind that we are witnessing or participating in a cultural form of Nuclear Winter caused by unchecked, radical progressivism. All the traditions, mores and morality brought to America by the early settlers and codified in our national and state constitutions have been summarily destroyed or ignored in the race to the bottom of civil and cultural mediocrity.
"All men are created equal," has become "No one should be better or live better than anyone else." Have you noticed, though, that those who are at the top of the progressive food chain do not seem to live the way they tell everyone else to live? They seem to be motivated by the power they get when they can convince others to drink the Kool-Aid of progressivism at all costs.
All men and women are created equal in regard to the respect they are due as human beings. But that's where it stops. In the case of abilities, motivation and performance, we are as diverse as the sands on the seashore and those of us who believe we know what others should be doing should probably just zip it.
Most people want to be successful in whatever their field of endeavor. Most people want to do a good job. If we recognize and reward performance — whenever and wherever it happens — it will only serve to make people more self-motivated and want to work harder and perform even better.
That's the way it's always been. If we continue to mess with this and change it so we all feel sort of good rather than being real producers, someone will likely be spewing us from his mouth.
Well, that's the way I see it.