Why do we think we are better?

Well, as time goes by, I hear more and more about how FIRSTers are more morally upright than everyone else.

We aren’t.

We are just like everyone else, and we should stop thinking we are better. Lets face it: Non FIRSTers don’t look to FIRST as their moral role model. As much as we try to follow Gracious professionalism as a rule, Not all of us do and we are by no means a perfect community. We are just as biased or “corrupted” as the people around us. Acting like we are to be looked up to is wrong because we are just people.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the perfect example of gracious professionalism, even though I try to be… and I think it’s time for us as a community to stop pretending that we are to be looked up to, as though we do no wrong.

For every apparently gracious professional FIRSTER that visits CD, there are a lot more people who have no Idea about Gracious professionalism that don’t Visit it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are no perfect communities, and I think that we should stop saying that we are, We should instead accept the fact that we are flawed and just try to fix it.

Until we can prove that we are perfectly gracious and professional, we should stop saying that we are better than our peers.

I’m not bashing GP at all, I just won’t pretend to be something that I’m not, and I definitely won’t correct someone else’s problems until I have fixed all of my own.

I agree whole heartedly. Not enough people know about GP to know that the people that practice it can be looked up upon.

Why do FIRSTers think we’re better?
To paraphrase The Hacker Manifesto, “because we judge people by what they say and think, not what they look like.”

To put it another way, it’s because we hold values like honesty, integrity, and intelligence dear, while so many others only care about looks, clothes, cars, etc.

Or at least that’s the vibe I’ve always gotten. Maybe I’m just cynical.

If we do not stand for the principals of GP then what exactly do we stand for?
We are trying to change the culture. To seek “business as usual” makes no sense when you see the insanity that plauge most other competitive sports (which has been taking a severe black eye recently with the doping allegations on all leveles). At the very least would you try?

We have no right to tell others what they are doing wrong when we do so much ourselves that is un-Graciously professional.


I don’t know if I’m missing something here, Cody, but when and where did a FIRSTer ever say that we have a perfect community and that we are not flawed? Where was this ever implied? I don’t see it.
By being in FIRST aren’t we recongizing that our world is flawed and trying to make a difference about it?

Well I’ll tell you what.
I don’t know how you do things on your team we TRY to teach our kids to respect the rules of FIRST, the rules of society, and the rules of the team because that is how we do things.
We are not always successful. We had kids and nentors who were rude and disrespectful. We had kids and mentors who had broke rules.
We also have a code of conduct that holds them accountable for their actions because we care how we are perceived and how FIRST and perceived in the general community and in the FIRST community!


Someone here has quite a bit of testicular fortitude for bringing this up, and I think I agree with him…

I really think this is an unfair thread. Not every one in FIRST thinks that we’re better than non-FIRSTers. I know some non-FIRSTers that are so respectful to people, and when I talk to them, it’s like we’re on the same level GP wise. I will never think a FIRSTer is superior to a non-FIRSTer and visa versa. We are all people, all EQUALS. Just because someone has a more respectful manner doesn’t mean their better. Yeah, there are some people who go around saying that FIRST is better, but compare that to the amount of individuals who don’t. Cody, not to be mean or anything but you basically just stereotyped everyone in FIRST, and as someone who doesn’t think that people in FIRST are better than non-FIRSTers and visa versa, I’m slightly offended. Yes I understand you’re on my side (I think?) but to say that everyone else isn’t isn’t right.

Hmm… when did I ever say that we were better than any other community or any normal people? I don’t even remember of telling any other community that they are doing this/that wrong. I don’t think I have ever discussed that with someone.

Cody, I will agree with you where you said not all of us are perfect or not all of us practice gracious professionalism. No one is perfect, you can’t expect anyone to be either.

I would like you to point out where we said “we are perfect,” so we can aplogize to whoever we said that to.

We don’t want you to pretend somebody you are not either. Again Cody, please show us where we went and corrected someone and gave wrong advice.

I don’t hear any of these that you are trying to point out, I spend all my extra time on FIRST events in South Florida or building prototypes. You know usually when I meet someone new and they ask me what I do for fun, I say, I build robots. In response I hear them tell me “wow, that’s cool.” I don’t go ahead and tell them, “Ya, man, I build robots, you are definitely nowhere near my standards,” moreover I ask them to come watch a competition or come join us on the team so he/she can enjoy the time just like we all do.

What am I trying to say Cody? I don’t understand the purpose of you bringing up this topic without any proof or actions that has been taken beforehand which might have put down others. So, please point us to the right directions and tell us the reason for brining up this topic. Thank you.


Cody, do you not agree with what this person has to say? Do you not have values that are honest?

I will come out and tell the truth. Even though I am a FIRSTer I care about clothing (yes I have closet full of FIRST shirts), but I do have other clothing that I care for (just incase you doubt, ask Nehalita on this forum), I care about my cars and dream about them. So what? I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

The overall feeling I get from this community is as I said, and I don’t have the time or disrespect to name names. If you’ll notice, the original thread includes me in the community of FIRST, along with everyone else who has been “wrongly stereotyped”. The same goes for that which Arefin posted.

I more or less take offense to a generalization… I’m not perfect, nor do I claim to be. And I sure don’t think I’m better than anyone, including NonFIRSTers…
I see what you are saying that some people have an issue, but I’m with Arefin on this one

Um, please don’t take offense if you have been wrongly grouped.

Before I posted this, I had a bunch of my friends that read some of the posts that have been happening, and that I am writing about, and they got the same feeling that I did.

Wrongly grouped? I AM a member of FIRST… you are referring to FIRSTers…

Well Cody, like I said before in my previous post I will repost it again…

Please tell us where you or your friends have felt that we said we were better than them or we offended you guys so we get a chance to apologize.

All I’m thinking about during this arguement is:What Would Dean Do?
I bet that would make a great baseball cap to sell at the championships! :cool:

OK, if we aren’t going to actually talk about the topic, then in the true style of the posts before thiss:

Show me where I said in the origional post that EVERY last FIRSTer feels this way.

OK, Arefin. and Anna.

To put it another way, it’s because we hold values like honesty, integrity, and intelligence dear, while so many others only care about looks, clothes, cars, etc.

I am a bit surprised that you would post a picture of your team breaking the rules. This is not what FIRST is about. How do you expect others to trust you and your team when you flaunt the rules??? images/smilies/confused.gif

Whether or not the prices are exorbant is not the debate, they’re still breaking rules and openly admitting to it, look at the title “Sneaky at Gen Con”. To be honest I would have probably done similar, but I wouldn’t tell everyone about it so publically, we’re supposed to be setting examples, not showing off disobedience. I don’t care really that the rules were broken, it does kind of bother me to see that fact flaunted about in a “Look what we did!” manner though.

So what you are saying is that if its only a little penalty then it is OK as long as you are not caught. If I were to use the Nothing-But-DeWalt solution on our robot and used 6 Fisher Price motors then that would be OK as long as I didn’t get caught. No one can see the motor inside the case so it is OK. The only penalty that I face is that if caught I would have to change out the motor before my next match. No big deal so I guess that makes it OK.

Are these really the standards of most FIRST participants? Maybe I will post a poll to see.

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We aren’t better than other people, but FIRSTers are still role models. Many FIRSTers interact with elementary or middle school students. Seniors are sometimes role models to freshman. Experienced and successful FIRST teams are role models to rookies. Mentors are role models. College students can be role models to other students. Dean Kamen is a role model. We aren’t trying to make ourselves that way, but the fact is that we are. Remember Dean Kamen’s thing about athletes and engineers as role models in the community? It’s a big part of what FIRST is about.

Yes, we should all recognize that GP doesn’t make us better than everyone else, and GP isn’t better than a non-GP system of judgement or interaction. Gracious Professionalism is still important, and again it’s part of what defines FIRST.

Having GP and being respectful and moral might give some people an attitude that they are better than other people. One needs to make sure they don’t get that attitude but must still “hold values like honesty, integrity, and intelligence dear.”


Also: I don’t think FIRST is the reason for following rules, being respectful, etc. We should do that anyway.