The Problem with Participation Trophies..

There’s some big issues with society these days. We’re living in a time where individuals are pushing for some sort of idealistic “everybody wins” fairy tale that simply doesn’t exist. It’s all about making people “feel good” in sports, and there’s a HUGE problem with this..

 

YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU LOSE.

 

Success is, and always will be a very simple equation; Do the work longer and harder than everybody else. Therefore you deserve EXACTLY what you get. Chances are if you lost, you probably deserved it and if you won, you probably deserved that too. The great thing with losing is that you get to understand why it happened, and then make adjustments so it doesn’t happen again. 

 

Yet nowadays, little Billy gets a trophy for 14th place! How great is that right!? It makes him feel all warm and fuzzy inside even though he sucked. Sure, in that moment you’re doing the kid a favour and making him feel good. How nice of you. But where you’re not doing him any favours, is in the fact that you’re teaching little Billy boy you get a trophy in life for just showing up.
That you get to feel good when you lose.
That your feelings should never be hurt
And that you deserve things simply because you want them.
As great as that would be, it’s just simply not true.

 

Trophies to everyone displays a harmful and wrong message to our youth that we are all winners, and that we always win at work, at school and in sports. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only does it make them believe they deserved it, it also decreases the competitive spirit to win, and takes away the pride of coming first and being the best. If everyone gets a medal, what makes 1st place so special? Losing is your #1 teacher. You need to lose and learn WHY to become better. You need to fail and scrape your knees so you can understand what to do next time so that doesn’t happen again. Losing isn't supposed to feel good. 

 

That’s life. Fall down. Fail. Learn, and then get back up and become better. The competitive spirit and desire to be the best is human nature. It’s kill or be killed and our youth need to understand this instead of being patted on the back for sucking. If you can’t feel like sh*t for losing, you can’t LEARN what you need to do to WIN and become better. This just seems like common sense when it comes to success. Yet so many people are concerned with putting smiles on every kids face in the short term, instead of thinking long term and fulfilling their obligation to prepare them for the future. You’re not doing them any favours. What you’re doing is preparing them for a future that they won’t be ready for. You don’t get to just float through life without failing and just expect to be where you want to be. This brings me to our biggest problem:

 

ENTITLEMENT

 

By showering them with medals they grow up in a mindset that they’re entitled to the things they want; that they’re entitled to feel good; and that they’re entitled to win even when they don’t deserve it. You need to EARN all of those things. Every great thing you desire in life is earned, not given. So many people are being brought up in a "sheltered, never experience failure, always protected and never had their feelings hurt" sort of environment. Then they step into the “real world”, and they get absolutely CRUSHED the first time they have to deal with any sort of setback, hardship or failure. They simply haven’t learned how to deal with it.

 

Imagine being at work, there’s a big promotion up for grabs. 20 people are eligible for it. Little Billy is all grown up and he’s gonna think he’s entitled to it simply because he wants it. But guess what, he doesn’t get it. Do they make up an extra spot and give it to him so his feelings aren’t hurt? No. Does he get the pay raise he wanted anyway? No. Does he still get that corner office? No. But most importantly, does he learn why he didn’t receive it and work even harder to be the best for the next opportunity? No. He doesn’t. Because he was brought up to think that he just deserves the things he wants. That he gets a trophy for showing up. So he just complains how he should have gotten it and how the company screwed him or whatever nonsense he needs to tell himself so he can deflect his responsibility instead of facing the facts:

 

You get a trophy for winning. You get a trophy for being the best. The real world doesn’t care about your precious feelings. You’re either the best or you’re not. You either deserve to win or you don’t. So what are you going to do to make sure that you’re the one who comes out on top.

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