During the course of college, I one had that 'one professor', the one that is known as being easy, the easy A. As a psychology major the material came naturally to me and seemed intuitive, but I learned there is a difference between understanding the material and knowing it well enough for a test. So, I began to diligently study. I would read through the material and then write a list of questions, sometimes as many as 80-100 questions; I would then make my new husband quiz me on these questions over and over again.
In this class, after our first test I was happy to see I left the testing center with an A. My hard work had paid off. The next day I went back to class, proud of my grade and wondering how everyone else did. Our professor had our tests and we spent class time going over the tests. Students would ask about a question saying they didn't understand it or thought some other answer made sense too and he would agree and give everyone that also picked that answer credit.
At first, it seemed pretty awesome as who doesn't want a free questions. Quickly more hands shot up. It soon became apparent that you could pretty much sneeze at a problem and he would give you credit for it.
Then I was mad.
I had gotten that question correct, I had taken the time to study and really learn the material, and now everyone was now getting the same grade as me. This pattern continued for every test. This had a strange affect on me, rather than making be grateful for one easy class, it made me stop caring. What was the point to study? Why try hard? All I had to do was go argue the problem and he would give me credit. There was no longer any incentive to try.
Thankfully my university did not believe in this principle that this professor was inadvertently teaching either, he wasn't a professor much longer.
When people are given free hand-outs, hand-outs instead of hand-ups, what incentive do they have to try? What do they have to work for? Nothing. They will become disheartened, depressed, and have nothing to work for. Why take the time to work when all you have to do is complain and you will get a handout.
I am not oblivious to the real needs, to the innocent victims of life and it's circumstances. I spent years after graduating college working and protecting children who suffered from things almost unimaginable. I saw first hand when the system failed to protect and provide for those who truly needed it. I also saw time and time again how the system actually rewarded those for doing nothing.
Give a man a fish, he eats for a day- teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. It is time to stop handing out free fish.
So what did that easy-A professor teach me? He taught me that if you want people to truly succeed, to truly make something of their lives, then they have to work for it, otherwise they will just give up.
Linking with Shell's PYHO