Gimme a Break! Don’t Give me a Break

Gimme a Break! Don’t give me a break.


How do you learn to be good at something? Is it by being given advantages based on your present inability to execute the task at the same level as more experienced people?


I’m constantly perplexed by people’s immediate desire to give unfair advantages to those who have difficulty performing on the same level as other participants.


I am a sixteen year old girl who just got back from the adult-male-dominated world of a mountain man rendezvous; 80% of the people who participate in these rendezvous are grizzled old men who have years of experience throwing hawks and knives, loading black powder rifles, etc.


Taking a shot with the muzzleloader rifle while R. and Eileen watch

Taking a shot at the target while R. and Eileen watch – Marion Rendezvous, MT


I didn’t want nor was I given any second chances or special advantages or extra beads for “trying real hard.” My competency was judged right alongside those who are better and those who are worse. That fact reveals a level of respect that is far greater incentive for improvement than any little break would have been.


Throwing hawks

Throwing hawks, Marion Rendezvous, MT


Some people might think that a young person’s morale is improved by being given a special advantage over the old-timers, but I have never appreciated such deals. In fact, over the years when people let me win, I’ve always felt a little twang of disappointment. A part of my motivation to succeed flakes away.


Marion Rendezvous.M.firestarting.RMKK

After starting a fire with flint and steel.


Every time that some well-meaning person allows someone to win, they’re teaching them that the meaningless title of “winner” is more valuable than the honor of being a true winner by surmounting obstacles and surpassing your own expectations.


So give me a break. Don’t give me a break.

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