Pity is a necessary and valued trait – to share or give to someone experiencing crisis or tragedy in their life – death of a loved one, failure at something - college acceptance, didn’t “make the team” in sports, failed a class at which they worked very hard, exclusion from a social group – all deserve pity or at least empathy.
But, as with most adults and especially champions – in any area – sports, business, theatrical/ entertainment – sooner or later – that person has to get back up and get back in the game.
We – as their support system – should clearly express our sympathy and empathy.
But after some reasonable period of time, we need to help, encourage and support them to move past the pity stage and encourage them to ‘return to life’
Teaching our kids to rebound and recover from setbacks, adversity and pity will absolutely strengthen the quality of their life – without question!!
Pity, left to fester, will lead to lethargy and “giving up” and in the long run, they become quitters. And no one wants to hang out with a quitter. If anything, we all want to hang out with someone who overcame their adversity to be a winner.
Remember – “a winner’s a loser who tried again.”
Helicopter parenting is an example of the cost of pity. While those parent’s intent was honorable, experience has shown how weak their kids are now. And the only way those teens will rebuild is NOW to suffer and face and learn to overcome the adversity their parents had “saved them” from.
Even kids who grow up in poverty should receive empathy and pity and even support of supplemental programs – but then be inspired and ‘ignited’. Pitying too much or too long will prevent them from growing out of or past their current circumstance. And worst of all – will prevent them from uncovering or releasing their actual real capacity/ potential.
So when you see a teen who deserves pity, as a parent or coach, teacher, etc.– give it – but then, soon after, SUPPORT and RE-KINDLE THEM!!
In actual fact, it’s a form of love – share it!