Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Orson Scott Card on Life Lessons

Michelle Holland sent me the link to this article by science fiction author Orson Scott Card. He has strong opinions about sports:

I’m glad that people who love sports have had a good time with them. But don’t ever, ever say, “This is a life lesson that you just can’t learn any other way.” There are no life lessons that you can’t learn any other way.

And a kid who’s lousy at sports but good at music or theatre or writing or videogames should get as much encouragement and honor as any athlete.

But he won’t.

And that’s what I hate about sports. That these physical games get treated, by kids and adults, as if they mattered more than activities that are just as valid, just as competitive, just as rewarding — and maybe more so.

There is no excuse for athletes being more respected and honored in school than scholars. But few indeed are the high schools that provide scholars and musicians and actors and poets with anything remotely like the honor given to athletes. And it’s not because athletics is harder than those other activities.

It may well be easier than, say, music composition or songwriting. Heaven knows, they manage to find enough professional football players to fill the NFL every season — but to find a songwriting team that can write an enduring Broadway score ... well, that doesn’t even happen once a year.

Everyone should be respected for what they do well, not belittled for what they cannot do. That is one of the best things about the Alabama School of Fine Arts. The students treat each other with respect because each has earned their place at the school. And that respect gives them a platform from which to explore who they are and who they want to be.

No comments: