Snowflakes

grayson-allenSnowflakes are delicate and fragile creations. While each of them is unique, if you touch them with your hand, they melt. They can be blown easily by the wind, changing directions based on the forces that surround them, the forces that are stronger than they are. Snowflakes may be pleasant at first, but if you get enough of them together, they can wreak havoc on roads and cause an awful mess. Real snowflakes usually are limited to one season out of the year.

While the real snowflakes are limited to one season out of the year, the figurative snowflakes seem to be joining us indefinitely…..at least until someone decides it’s time to do something about them.

Grayson Allen is a snowflake!

If you follow college basketball at all, you know who Grayson Allen is. He’s in his junior year at Duke University and is among the starters on their men’s basketball team. He’s a 6’5” 21 year old Floridian who has been in the news over the last few years, but especially the last few days, as he intentionally trips his opponents on the basketball court.

Well, according to most people it’s intentional. According to Allen, or at least his antics, his reactions, and his body language, he’s just an innocent victim of bad-calling referees.

The latest infraction for which Allen has made the news took place on Wednesday night when Duke opposed Elon. Allen tripped Elon’s Steven Santa Ana (a clip you can see here).

There are so many things to say about what Allen did, but I think that my greatest concern with this is Allen’s reaction to his resultant technical foul (also seen in above video link).

Like I said, Allen is a snowflake.

I’m not sure where his sense of entitlement came to him. Maybe it was growing up in Jacksonville, Florida attending the Providence School, a private Christian college preparatory school also in Jacksonville. Maybe it was being recruited to Duke University, one of the top basketball schools in the nation. Maybe it was being born at the wrong time in history. Regardless of how it happened, it happened.

When I watched the highlights from Wednesday night’s game, I couldn’t help but shake my head and think to myself, “These are the kinds of kids that we are raising.” Dirty. Entitled. Ruthless players.

A friend jokingly (and rhetorically) asked the question on Facebook whether Allen’s upbringing might be blamed for him being a “thug.” A valid point that will most likely be overlooked far too quickly as Allen is white.

But putting race aside, my concern is that these kinds of snowflakes will one day be out in the “real world” and I wonder whether there will be any kind of intervention before that day comes. All eyes will be watching Duke University, especially Coach K, wondering just how long they will deem an appropriate time frame for his suspension. Will it be one game? Five games? More? Will the league intervene and throw a harder sentence at him?

While some would say this is the time for him to learn lessons, I wonder whether, as a junior, he should have already learned some of these lessons that he is expected to learn this time around. After all, he was heavily criticized for at least two incidents last year which resulted in little more than a slap on the hand. When there are no consequences for our bad decisions, what will stop us from making those same bad decisions again?

Generation Snowflake needs time to deal when things don’t go their way. Generation Snowflake seems to want everything handed to them on a platter without having to work for it. Generation Snowflake is probably not so much a generation as it is a handful of snobby kids who seem to be standing in the spotlight and getting all the press. If I was the rest of that so-called generation, I’d be pretty ticked!

I can’t do anything about Grayson Allen (well, other than gripe about him on social media and my blog), but I can do something about my own children. I can teach them to work for what they want. I can teach them that there are times (many times, in fact) when things don’t go the way that you’d like. I can teach them that just because things don’t go your way doesn’t entitle them to mope around until the situation changes, which let’s face it, probably won’t happen.

I can teach my children how to act and then hope and pray that they take it all in and avoid becoming a member of their own generation’s snowflakes. I don’t think any of them will ever be playing a college sport in the NCAA, but if they do, I hope when that time comes that I will have taught them better than to act like such snowflakes! 

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