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Sweet strawberries, bitter disappointment

17 April 2015
by: Jasper Roosdorp
by: Jasper Roosdorp

A substantial amount of all strawberries is grown in greenhouses. It’s a place they love to be. After all, there’s enough water, warmth and sunlight. And if it ever so happens that there’s a storm brewing outside, the strawberries feel quite safe between the glass walls. Although strawberries may be great in many ways, they don’t seem to handle the harsh reality very well.

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Lasting sunlight.

In Taiwan, the characteristics of strawberries are used to metaphorically describe the Taiwanese youth of our generation. Because our generation is the first generation that is brought up distant from the world’s harsh reality, or so they say. We are the Strawberry Generation. Both in Taiwan and the Netherlands, most of our helicopter parents have worked to prevent and solve our moments of misery. That may have helped us become quite developed and intelligent strawberries, but many of us are also incapable of dealing with disappointment. We simply never learned how to cope.

Disappointment during your development.


The most successful students seem to be the most unsuccessful people when it comes down to dealing with disappointment. Which is understandable, because a rejection after applying for a job can come rather unexpected if you’ve always managed to pass every course with flying colours. Not to mention that you may never even have learned how to deal with rejection. By learning how to cope with minor disappointments at a young age, bigger disappointments further on in your life will be easier to handle, according to David Elkind. Disappointment is an important element of our development. You can only learn to stand back up if you fall.

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Coping by refining your judgment.


After an unsuccessful application, it’s easiest to crawl back up if your able to refine your judgment. A rejection usually means that you weren’t able to convince an employer of your skills and talent. Likewise, it could mean that the one who read your letter didn’t feel the needed connection, because he or she is very different from who you are. Or maybe your talent simply wasn’t the type of talent the employer was looking for. All those things are logical explanations of rejection, but somehow we mostly seem to conclude that we aren’t good enough at what we do. When that’s what you truly believe, you’ll have a hard time.

Growing by learning.


The Japanese Miyazawa described failure as the fuel of our journey in reaching our goals. It’s painful to be rejected for a job, but educational nonetheless. It could be necessary before you’re able to reach your destination. And maybe it is as Confucius said: “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop”. By making a phone call and finding out why you weren’t hired for the job, you’ll increase your chances of succes in the future. It takes one tough and bold strawberry to do that. But practice makes perfect, you see.

Last modified:17 February 2017 11.08 a.m.
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