In 2011 I wrote a three-part website series about the documentary “Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture.” This documentary was created and directed by Vicki Abeles who noted that its production was triggered “by a series of wake-up calls that made me look closely at the relentless pressure to perform that children face today,” including her 12-year-old daughter being diagnosed with stress induced illness.
Dr. Robert Brooks
I grew up in a three-family house in Brooklyn. When I was a teenager a family moved into the apartment below ours. The parents, Sam and Betty (these are pseudonyms), were both Holocaust survivors who met in the United States following World War II. They had one child, a son, who was several years younger than I was. A quick glance at the arms of each parent bore witness to their having been in a Nazi death camp. A sequence of numbers had been tattooed into their skin. The Nazis attempted to deprive millions of their identity and humanity by replacing names with numbers.
It is not always easy to accept and take actions associated with those words, but to fail to do so often leads to a “why me?” victim’s mentality that contributes to a sense of sadness, helplessness, and regrets. It is far better to choose the road that while filled with the unknown at least offers hope for future satisfaction and accomplishment.