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TOM MARIER, San Clemente

This suggestion wants us all to have equal outcomes, rather than equal opportunities.

“Everyone gets a participation trophy.”

Let’s start with some basic truths: life is not necessarily fair; some people have more drive and desire than other people; and a lot of us are not simply OK with a system that “provides” everyone with the same cookie-cutter rewards regardless of the effort that we put forth, on most every subject.

There have always been several levels of outcome or success for people, and to some extent, the outcome you end up with is in part based on how you approach the tasks in front of you.

Personally, I’ve never had anything handed to me for free. I have worked hard my entire life to have and enjoy the life that I currently have. For those who have an inability to pursue the opportunities that are available to most people, there are safety nets in place—whether someone is disabled, has mental health issues, etc.

For those who, for whatever reason, choose not to put forth the effort required, that is a choice that each person makes for themselves. Choices have consequences. Choose poorly, and there is a price to pay for that choice.

But for roughly 99% of all people, whatever situation you are in currently, there are options available for you to take that will improve your own life. Making a choice not to take advantage of those options may result in looking back at a poor choice down the road.

This country has unintentionally produced some generations of people who, for reasons unknown to me, seem to believe that if they do nothing, someone will come along and fix all of their problems without much effort required from the person who has some particular issue affecting their life.

That is not how life works. Life is a participation event. It requires each person’s active involvement if an acceptable outcome is to be achieved.

Simply handing out “free stuff” to everyone who refuses to assist in solving their own problems is a prescription for disaster.

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