Monday, June 4, 2018

#Microblog Mondays: As Good A Chance As Anybody Else

I love Melissa McCarthy. She's funny, she's smart, she's honest, and she's a powerhouse in her industry.

I was reading an article about her in my very intellectual People magazine, and I came across this gem about how her parents raised her to aim for her dreams:

"When I wanted to do something, they didn't say, 'You can do anything, you're perfect!' Instead they said, 'Well, if you work really hard, you've got as good a chance as anybody else.' "


"'Why not you?' is an unbelievably great sentiment to give to a kid. Not entitlement but instead: Work your butt off, and you have a decent chance at this." 

Is that not amazing? It's not a dream-killer, but it's also not "you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to if you just NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP." Which while it sounds great at first, does an incredible disservice to kids (and adults) by denying them the right to fail, to stumble, to have one path not work out and then find another one, perhaps towards a different destination than they'd originally planned for.

Melissa McCarthy's version acknowledges the chance aspect of things in life -- sure, hard work is worth A LOT, but chance plays a bigger role than many would like to believe (being born in particular place, or time... having the person interviewing you for a job be from the same small town or have gone to the same college, the amazing miracle of conception no matter how it was achieved, and a zillion other serendipitous things that can be influenced with effort but really come down to right place, right time).

It takes away the illusion that there are answers for everything, or that anything is deserved, pushing you to do your best and go for what you want.

It's a shame I can't pass this nugget on to my own children, but I can certainly do something to incorporate it into my classroom...because it is a great message for a kid to think on.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy! 


  1. Ah, but you can pass it on to your students. Because it is very likely they have gotten the “never give up” speech and NEED this message to counteract it.

    So please spread far and wide, because it is so important that we begin to teach that the value of trying, even if you fail.

  2. Yes, a message that encompasses the reality of life is much more useful. You can do anything!! Is too vague, and simply.....not true.

  3. I love that sentiment! Thank you for sharing, I'll hang on to this one.

  4. I like yours and Melissa McCarthy's approach so much better than the absolutist "you can do ANYTHING" or "never give up" approaches. For the exact reason you say: chance. And keeping people who DO try hard from descending into a hell of "I guess that means I just wasn't good enough."

  5. I love this. Also pass it on to the children in your life.

  6. Yep, this is great! Perhaps being from a different generation, or perhaps from a different country and culture, we never were given the "you can achieve anything" and when it did arise (eg in media etc), we never believed it. Or maybe I've always been cynical!! Anyway, I love this message, because I certainly believe that this gives a much healthier, yet still encouraging, message to children. No, to ALL of us.

  7. You speak truth, my dear. It's kind of like "We hold these truths to be self evident...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The Declaration of Independence says our right is to the pursuit of happiness, not happiness itself. Sooooo many factors figure you have so beautifully pointed out.

  8. Somehow I missed this from last week, but I really, really love this. I definitely feel like that you can be anything you want, never give up, stuff is a whole lot of BS parents are “supposed” to say. I don’t agree with that at all, and so I love the idea of having a good a chance as anyone else. Thanks for writing about this!

  9. Yes that's such a better message. The "you can do anything" motto is just setting people up for failure.