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Nathan Zhang

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Is "word inflation" on praises and an excess of "great job" comments degrading to our society?

As I grew up, I got disparaging remarks after bad assignments and encouragement after good completions, yet I notice today that many teachers say "good job" even though the child's work is less than satisfactory (even the teachers' show it). I wonder if this has a degrading effect on our future societal development (I worry about having a bunch of employees who can't take criticism.) Just for reference, I think it is having an impact, as I now meet children who cry after not getting a reward for homework completion.

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    Aug 2 2011: Your question reminded me of George Carlin. He defended exactly that this thing of not criticizing would ultimately lead to people being underachievers. Carlin commented on the fact that nowadays people don't lose in school competitions, they're the "last winners".

    To some extent, I agree with Carlin. Although worrying about children's self-esteem is a valid, noble concern, I think people should be prepared to know that we are not perfect, that we need to constantly seek for improvement in everything we do. We must be able to listen to negative feedback and recognize in it opportunities to enhance ourselves.

    Results do matter in the real life, it's not only about the effort you put into tasks.

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