Opinion: We need to show young people how to handle disappointment


Given the final statement by the District Office, I really have to make my final statement about this situation. The community of parents and graduates has expressed our frustration and disappointment with the graduation situation as it is. But there are actually much bigger things at play here. Life lessons. Here are a couple that I see. First and foremost, we as parents had the opportunity to see our young people rise up, organize, have a collective voice and hold protests peacefully! That is something to be very proud of. We saw two leaders from our youth, Travis Johnson and Andrea Clark, step up with such profound class and intellect and go head to head with the district staff. We will get to say we knew them when ... ! Because they will both do amazing things!

Now, it's up to us to show our young people how to handle disappointment with grace. For they will face greater disappointments than this in their lives. We know this because we have all been there.

By the time these kids go into their jobs or the military or to college this fall, this will be a disappointing memory. It will not derail their lives. But what we cannot teach them is that the way you handle disappointment is to pitch a fit, cuss people out, call people horrible names, or worse, all because you want to get your way.

We need to teach them about elections, voting, using the process we are given to effect the change we/they want to see in their future.

We teach them about bumps in the road, working through their feelings, hiking up their bootstraps and moving forward to the next accomplishment, leaving the disappointment behind. We cannot take the, "I'll show you!" approach and force to happen what we want. There is far greater outcry from parents honestly.

There are other organizations in Sumter like Cut Rate Drugstore that have big plans to celebrate our kids and their accomplishments. Let's teach our kids to graciously accept what is being offered to celebrate them. You don't think it's enough? I hear you, but it's what we have. Yes we are living in very unprecedented times. No, we do not like having this taken from us.

Everyone fought hard. But in every fight there has to be a give and take, otherwise both sides lose. Let's just make sure we are teaching the right, most important life lessons to our graduates.

Just something to think about.