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March 23, 2014
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Vail Daily letter: We’ve become lazy

My name is Taylor Brandt, and I am in seventh grade at Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy. As a class we were challenged to write about a problem we see in our society. I chose to write about how lazy we have become. I hope you like it and it would be great if you could publish it. Well, here it is:

Our society has entered an era where people expect to accomplish goals without working hard. We have become lazy; from not cleaning up after yourself or not completing school work. We make up excuses. We have come up with this philosophy that everyone is a winner. The truth is we can’t all be winners, but we can all work our hardest and compete for that top spot.

Everywhere in this world has stereotypes. Canadians are nice. French are rude. Germans are harsh. But what are Americans? Americans are lazy. In 2012, America was ranked 31th in math, 24th in science, and 21th in reading out of 65 countries. All of these rankings had significantly dropped since 2009, the last time we took these tests. Every school day about 7,000 high schoolers drop out of school in America. We give up on things when it gets tough and we choose to complain about the slightest things — if it’s the fact that you have homework or the fact that you have to walk up the stairs because the elevator broke. Maybe we could stop complaining about the fact that the situation just got a little harder and instead look at how this new challenge could help you improve.

We choose to not work hard towards our goals, but we are shocked when for some reason our goals are not accomplished. The next reasonable step is to then come up with as many excuses you can to explain what happened because how could it be your fault? We choose to come up with excuses that really have no effect on achieving that goal if you had been working hard. I was tired. I had to go to my brother’s football game. I had a headache. I left my books at school. Sound familiar? Last June, a 16-year-old drunk driver killed four people. The teen was facing 20 years in jail, but was only given 10 years of probation because of a new term called “affluenza.” This new term means that the child was a victim of their parents’ wealth therefore has no connection between behavior and consequences. How was it that child’s fault to not realize that you can’t drink and drive and you can’t drink when you’re underage?

We have decided that we simply deserve for good things to happen to us and if they don’t the world is against us. How could it be that I got a D on my test? Could it be the fact that you didn’t study? You weren’t listing to teacher during class? You didn’t try? I believe the scariest part is that they don’t learn from this and they don’t care. Instead again they don’t study, again they don’t pay attention in class, and again they don’t try. They get a bad grade on another test. They say it is because they are not smart. I say it is because they aren’t working hard enough.

Jimmy Butler is a starter on the Chicago Bulls NBA basketball team. He has been playing on the Chicago Bulls team for three seasons and has only just became a starter last year. He only truly started playing a lot after the Chicago Bulls starting point guard, Derrick Rose, got injured in the 2011 playoffs. Jimmy Butler has showed that he is an amazing player and a big part of the Chicago Bulls team. All Chicago Bulls fans absolutely love Jimmy Butler, but his life hasn’t always been amazing. As a kid Jimmy Butler’s mom kicked him out of the house at age 13. He was then forced to stay at friends’ houses then go to a different friend’s house after he overstayed his welcome. Jimmy Butler was never a star in basketball as a kid and he didn’t even get a scholarship for college. People have doubted Jimmy Butler for his whole life. Everyone said the Chicago Bulls made a mistake when they drafted Jimmy Butler. None of this has ever stopped Jimmy Butler from working his hardest, and look at him now. The Chicago Bulls were struggling with him injured. He doesn’t expected people to look at his past life and make exceptions for him. No one should let where they come from and who their family is get in their way of working their hardest. Anyone can achieve a goal if they really set their mind to it.

I am just a 13-year-old little girl, as I am often told, but when I look around I don’t see people striving for their absolute best in every aspect of their life. Instead I see people just scraping by. Is that what we really want?

Taylor Brandt


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The VailDaily Updated Mar 24, 2014 12:10PM Published Mar 24, 2014 11:04AM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.