By: Michael Beiter
Inclusion is a good idea and we should pursue it as much as possible. It is part of the ideals that founded our country. Regardless of your religion, beliefs, skin color, sex, or any other differentiating factor, you have the same rights as everyone else. I don't disagree with that or know many people who do. I disagree with inclusion that ignores effective standards.
Participation trophies are now given in sports to every competitor. The standards of winners and losers are being ignored to foster inclusion. We no longer track points scored which traditionally determined who was better at the game being played. This teaches participants that it doesn't matter how hard they work to prepare for their competitions, the outcome will be the same: everyone gets a trophy. The competitor who practiced for hours daily gets the same feedback (a trophy) as the one who didn't practice at all and just showed up for the game. Keeping score and awarding winners used to differentiate the two. This was an effective in sporting for as long as there has been sports. Participation trophies circumvent this time tested system in the name of inclusion and destroy the valuable feedback system sports with scores, winners, and losers provides.
Grades are no longer assigned at some schools. In the name of inclusion students who don't do any homework or participate in class are given the same feedback as those who study every day and perform their tasks well. The former used to get D's and F's while the latter earned A's and B's. Now students are allowed to pass classes and grades without the standardized passing grades that used to be required. All it takes is an intervention from their parents and a plea to not harm the student's emotional state by making them retake a class they failed. They argue it would be better if they were allowed to continue onto the next class with their classmates who earned their progress. Again, this teaches kids who work hard their effort is not meaningful because someone who did no work gets the same outcome. The result of this is not emotionally resilient kids and strong skills. It creates weakness and de motivates both the workers and slackers. The standards of passing grades that our education system has used for ages which produced the most prosperous country and society in history is being ignored. Again, in favor of inclusion.
Healthy bodies made up of certain levels of muscle, bone, cartilage and fat tissue have been standardized for decades. Much like the examples just mentioned, the standard assessments used to determine one's state of health (mainly weighed levels of body fat) are being ignored to promote inclusion and cater to emotions. People who carry too much body fat and fit the classification of obesity are being propped up in marketing and claimed as healthy in an effort to include the 66% of adults who are overweight into a category of 'health' they absolutely do not fit into. The people who work out daily, sleep enough, and mind their nutrition and earn their healthy body now have to accept the person who can't make it up a flight of stairs without keeling over and whose heart is working beyond its capacity to keep up as equal to them. Their work is nullified.
I'm all for inclusion. And equality. I think they are positive ideals to strive for. But we are a culture of standards that have been developed and work to give proper feedback. Just because that feedback hurts someone's feelings doesn't mean we should abandon the feedback. Rather than scrap the system the individuals who don't feel motivated by win/lose, pass/fail, healthy/unhealthy need to toughen up. If they get feedback they don't like that is not a measure of their morality or value as a person. It is simply information that tells them they need to work harder and get better so they can cross over into the successful standard.
Our solution should not be to lower our standards or abandon them all together. It should be to help people improve so they can meet them. This is better for the individual and the collective. Blind inclusion leads to delusion.
A new obesity drug is making headlines as a major breakthrough. Semaglutide was given to 1,961 obese individuals via injection for a 68 weeks. Participants who received the drug lost an average of 33.6 pounds or 20% of their body weight. In comparison those who received a placebo lost an average of 5.72 pounds. All participants met face to face or talked with a registered dietitian about their behavior change monthly. Sound familiar?
The risk factors that improved for the successful participants include risk for heart disease and diabetes, fat and sugar levels in the blood, waist circumference, and blood pressure. They also noted an improved quality of life.
This drug primarily works to reduce the feelings of hunger and increase feelings of satisfaction after meals leading participants to eat less calories.