Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You can do ANYTHING

I wonder if most SNL viewers thought this sketch was as funny as I thought it was?  I know I am no longer the demographic SNL seeks, but, in my old age, I have discovered the joy of DVRing shows I cannot stay up late enough to watch. While I was skimming through with my Sunday morning coffee, I ran across this gem. Thank you, thank you, thank you SNL for portraying exactly what I'm thinking about regarding this very subject.  YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, and you don't even have to try very hard.

"No one has ever been honest with me about how mediocre I am."
"What if someone were to be honest with you?"
"I would immediately cry."
"And that's accepted now."

 SNL, You Can Do ANYTHING sketch.

Since I watched this sketch Sunday morning, I've been thinking about this generation so much. I'm still laughing about it, but there is a part of me that cannot help but feel sad about it. This sketch depicts young adults with no idea of what excellence is or the desire to work towards it. I see a lot of young people in leadership positions proclaiming "good enough" to the tasks they have been sent out to accomplish. Good enough.

The phrase "you can do anything" used to be a phrase of encouragement. It used to mean being born an American gave you the opportunity to pursue whatever your heart desired. This was the land of opportunity. One could "pull oneself up by one's bootstraps."

Now, "you can do anything" just means you are great if you "take a stab" at something. There is no need to excel or win or be the best. In fact, we've raised a couple generations of children without winners and losers. We didn't want to hurt their self esteem. What we did was kill their drive.

I'm still laughing at the sketch and at the people I know that are JUST LIKE the people in the sketch. I hope the target audience of SNL will see themselves as portrayed here. And WAKE UP! And realize it takes hard work and effort to succeed. Not just 1% inspiration and 99% "getting your name out there."


  1. One of my friends was telling that all the kids on her son's soccer team got an award at the end of the season.  It was for just that - to build self esteem.  But it seemed like to me that doesn't teach them that you don't always win. 

  2. It's impossible, I think, to know how best to parent. We can rely on scripture, of course, but it doesn't address many of our parenting issues. I've been guilty of doing things the opposite way of what my parents did only to find that I don't like either result (theirs, or mine).

  3.  I'm afraid this has less to do with parenting and more to do with expectations placed on children, in general.  In schools, in sports, in clubs, etc.  We've lowered expectations of our youth to such an extent they are losing the meaning of competition.  Competition is becoming a dirty word.  Then they become adults and discover the rules change.  They are unprepared.  Some just drop out and don't try, because they don't know how to compete. 

    My biggest complaint it with 20 and 30 somethings that don't know they are mediocre because they've always been told they are GREAT.  If you tell them they are mediocre, they cry.  A lot.

  4. nice....it is funny but in the midst of it as you point out...our reality as well...

  5. I was such a super-achiever and yet had low self-esteem. I could not get things to be perfect with my parents. It is difficult to parent--I'm glad that I did not try. 

  6. interesting to hear others think like i do. ( maybe that's just a relief and confirmation i'm not weird )
    my parents encouraged us to try anything and everything we wanted to.....do your best. however,  we learned how to fail as well as achieve.

  7. But I do believe that people can do anything! I used to work at a company and I would see people in high, very high positions that... I just didn't get it!!! They were not that sharp. But they seemed to think they were. I was blown away by the things and decisions they would make. I always wondered how did they get that position??? And my conclusion was: because they thought they could. They thought they could do ANYTHING and they did.
    And then there are other people who have low self esteem, but they are so smart, but they don't think they can do anything. So they don't.

  8. I worry about this when it comes to my daughter.  She seems far more willing to settle for "good enough" than I've ever been.  However, I'm an obsessive compulsive perfectionist.  What is one to do?

  9. Great skit. Made me actually lol. It seems like even kids should be able to figure out that "you can do anything" is a crazy assertion; just sayin'. And that "doing anything" doesn't simply mean "trying" it. Thanks for sharing this. (I use my DVR all the time too; love it!)


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