Northwest NEWS

August 2, 1999


There is a valuable lesson here

   As a parent, I can certainly understand the level of emotion concerning the baseball player's hurt feelings at not being considered good enough to play more than a token requirement during the Little League All-Star game. However, the question I would ask is: How old must our children be for us as parents to start teaching them the realities of life?

   I can only answer for my own children. However, I do know this: Life is not always fair. In fact, life is so unfair as to force most of us to have to work extremely hard, each and every single day, to hold on to those things we've worked so hard to get.

   Do I like having to constantly prove my worth to my boss, simply so I can keep my job? And what about those "generation whatevers" coming out of college, barely able to communicate in coherent sentences, willing to take my job and half of what I'm being paid? Sure, they've been educated on all the newest technology and know the hottest buzzwords of the market. But what about my years of dedication and loyalty and commitment to my career?

   Back in the early '90s, I was on the cutting edge of my industry. Doesn't that count for anything? How can I be replaced so easily? Can't they just keep me in play and continue to pay me an ever-increasing salary as a token of their gratitude for the rivers of blood, sweat, and tears I've shed for them? Wouldn't that be fair?

   I really don't mean to be sarcastic. However, I think the important lesson here is: The best players are usually the ones that play the most. If you want to play more, work harder at being the best.

   Competition--in sports, career, love--is a reality. Harsh as it may be, it's one of the things that brings out the best in us and keeps us on our toes. Is that fair? It really doesn't matter. It's reality.

   I would encourage you to try and grasp the true value of this experience and the valuable lesson contained within it.

Herbert A. Van Patten II, Duvall