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January 30, 2014

Comments

Florence

If you were to read Amy Chua's book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, you would not be surprised at all about her warped sense of what constitutes success.
All this type of success leads to is successfully destroying the life giving systems of our earth.

M.E.

Success....hmph. I agree with you, Hattie. It doesn't mean matching the goalposts of the current idealogies. (crap....I can't even write about this coherently.) Would Jesus be considered a success? I don't think so.

Can you hold your head up and whistle dixie? so what?

Thanks for your input!! xoxo, m.e.

Annie

Was discussing this article with someone at the library on Monday. I agree with your response, and all of this is perfectly timed for me, having just returned from the land of so-called success. Quite disheartening.

Hattie

Here is what I think: Rich and high class people and downright kleptocrats from everywhere want to live in the U.S. They want immigration restrictions lifted for them and their families on the basis that they are so superior and Americans are too stupid to run things without their help. They do not want to live in the poor countries they have stolen their money from. They are an international elite. Now that is a really unpopular thing to say!
Over here, where no one can hear me, I can tell the truth. Chua can spout bilge and millions applaud. Still, if she thinks that people like us must admire her and envy her banal accomplishments, she has another think coming, as we used to say. What does this have to do with the immigrant struggles of yore? In my opinion, nothing.

Ole Phat Stu

Seems there are two approaches :

1) He who dies with the most toys wins.

2) The goal is not to live forever, but to come up with an idea that does.

I go for the latter. To the proponents of the former, I say "Wins what?"

Hank Chapin

Right off the bat, I can think of two people I greatly admire who wouldn't make the grade in their warped world: e. e. cummings and Hart Crane. cummings is my all-time favorite modern American poet but he lived from hand to mouth, apparently, according to a biography forthcoming this month by Susan Cheever.

Hart Crane was a very messed up, great poet. He didn't get along with his wealthy candy magnate father (Lifesavers, ironically enough). Knowing what I know today, I'll bet the subtext of why father didn't like son was his homosexuality. Crane ended his life by jumping from a ship returning to America from Cuba.

I may make a list of greats who carved out different paths. Stay tuned. But, then again, who cares? Most of the people I admire are ot famous at all. My Boy Scoutmaster, Don Hassell, inspired me more than most luminarties. Also, the article in the NY Times Magazine, very ironically, points out that once you are chosen to enter the hallowed halls of Yale Law School, all rules and regulations are called off. It's like a great big Summerhill School (remember that bastion of total permissiveness?). I read somewhere that Bill Clinton hardly attended class at Yale Law because he was off politicking elsewhere and he would cram for a test the night before after not attending classes all term. It's the opposite of the Chua-and hubby philosophy.

Chua and her hubby also leave out personal temperament. The way I see myself, I just don't have it in me to bully children by saying they always have fallen short. Encouragement is the name of my game. I've never said this publicly, but here goes: I am a big, once-athletic person with an outgoing personality and a quick tongue who is given to quipping. I noticed long ago, as a teacher, that words of criticism and discouragement had an inordinately negative impact and kept people in my sphere, my children, friends, and students, from prospering and growing. So, I don't do it as far as I can control it consciously. I emphatically don't want people to be afraid of me. As my mother used to say when I was growing up, "Hank, you don't know your own strength" and "Never hit a girl" (yes she really did say that).

Hattie

Stu: I'll take the latter approach, too.
Hank: You are a great success!
I'm a wiseacre too and also big and outspoken, traits that are not well liked in women. My parents were kind of mean, so I had to educate myself out of that tendency. Your mother was a wonderful woman, obviously.
I think Hart Crane is underrated and while not a poetry fan do like e.e. cummings a lot. Actually, I am paying more attention to poetry these days and finding many things to my taste.

Cop Car

Hank--I don't believe that one has to bully or discourage a child verbally to get the point across. Withholding unearned praise is generally enough to get the point across. I believe that praise is more sought after and means more when the recipient knows that it was earned.

P.S. My Hunky Husband was always taught that one did not hit a girl. OTOH: The girls/women in his family waited on the men hand-and-foot!

Hattie

Cop Car: Yes. In the good old days a gentleman did not have to raise his voice to be catered to, let alone resorting to violence. Those were the days. Now we keep hearing about a "crisis of masculinity."

Hattie

What I think really damages children is squelching comments, especially from fathers. My husband never, ever, did that. He encouraged his daughters and always helped them to succeed.

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