Rails 6 was just released last month (August 2019). I have been using Rails professionally for more than a decade now, starting from Rails 2. Having worked on version 2 up to 5, this latest release is an exciting moment for me.
This is in response to an article from Aeon titled “Teaching ‘grit’ is bad for children, and bad for democracy“. After reading it, I asked myself, “Is grit really bad?”.
The article discussed the ideas behind the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Citing several examples in the book, it discussed the darker side of grit. It says that grit results to people doing mean, stupid things or doing things that they should not have done. One particular example is from a football team’s chant:
You just received your regular paycheck. Finally, after all those weeks of hard work and not having enough sleep, you finally reaped the fruits of your labor. After a few days, you checked your bank account and most of your fresh money just disappeared. You ask yourself, “Where did my salary go?“.
This is a common occurrence nowadays. People sometimes feel like they don’t see any rewards from their work as most of their paycheck just seems to vanish every month. While we need to pay our dues and bills and our costs of living, do you honestly know where your salary is going?
One day I was listening to a podcast where the host interviews a businessman. At the end of the interview the host asked, “What are the things you do that make you successful?“. The businessman answered: “The reason I am successful is not because of what I do today. I owe everything to 2011 me. All his hard work, his grit, and his networking efforts paid off.“
That got me thinking: am I thankful for past me? Do my actions decades ago produce something good today?
I thank 2012 me. I accepted a job from something that I have not tried before, and I was not really expecting much. It turns out to be work that boosted my income and still something I enjoy even after seven years.
You may have heard people talk about bad things that happened to someone else. “Poor guy, he lost his job“, “She was diagnosed with breast cancer“, or “They lost their child” are some of the examples. When this happens we may feel shocked and sad for the other person. We may even think “Thank God that did not happen to me!“.
But what if it happened to you?
Shadow boxing is an important technique used in combat sports, especially boxing. It does not involve any equipment, only yourself. Typically you do this with an imaginary opponent, or you can just do it in front of a mirror (so your enemy is you). This can even be used to “simulate” an upcoming fight against an opponent as you imagine him standing in front of you.