(Titus clip below. I do not mean to violate copyright, just share something from Youtube that is truly hilarious.)
I love Titus. I disagree with him on some points, but one of those is not his stance on participation trophies. Because he’s right, that’s not a good idea, that’s a commie idea. Just like he said, if the kids get the same damn trophy no matter where they fell, then the one that sucked is going to think sucking is fine in life (and then you get the kid in your kitchen when he’s 32 wondering why you haven’t done his laundry yet 🙂 and the kid who busted his ass and was the best, well he’s going to get the message that trying hard doesn’t get you anything and he’s either going to get pissed or give up.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. But the kids probably have different trophies between the participation ones and the winners. The winners will obviously get a bigger trophy. Probably. But here’s the thing, the money for those participation trophies have to come from somewhere. There’s some pool of money for these kiddie sporting events and the money for the dinky little participation trophies came from that pool. Whether it’s from parents paying for it or government, money doesn’t grow on tress. So that money could’ve been used to buy bigger trophies for the winners or to contribute to fun activities for the team like a pizza party. I don’t know.
The point is, the resources have to come from somewhere and the kids don’t realize that. All they know is they sucked, didn’t try, try and still sucked, but they got a trophy anyway, so obviously sucking isn’t going to stop you from not being a loser.
*Because dammit there are no losers!* (Say it loud in a baby voice, it’s funny 🙂
Flash forward 20 years and what do you got? That kids standing in your kitchen because he doesn’t have a job nor any desire to get one, because why should he? Until you kick him out, he’s living large. And if you do kick him out, he’s living off the rest of us, so if you let it get to that point, please don’t kick him out and make it all of our problem 🙂
Effort matters, skill matters. That’s not to say you should berate the kids or take away their toys for losing. Oh hell no! There’s a huge difference between not rewarding someone and actually taking something away or hurting them. Think of it as starting as zero. You win and get positive, you lose and nothing happens, you stay at zero, but you don’t go negative.
Now, apply this to life. You go to school, get good grades, go to college and it goes from there, right? You get bad grades then you work minimum wage or you go to trade school. But you figure out what you’re good at and you go work.
Sometimes life isn’t fair and it doesn’t matter that you worked hard or were good, you still get screwed. Look at the legal field. It still hasn’t recovered from 2008 and probably never will get to the point it was before that. People who go to law school are usually smart. And those that pass the bar smarter still. That doesn’t mean they’ll get a job, or a good one. That’s all about networking and who you know. In any field. And in law, they still have the system set up where your job basically comes down to your first year grades. So if you blow first year, good luck, unless you know people of course.
And you might think I’m making counterpoints, but I’m really not. One, work hard and earn whatever it is. Two, even if you work hard, you might not get it. But those aren’t counter points because if the hard workers isn’t getting it, it either means there’s just not enough to go around, or somebody else who wasn’t as good got it for some other reason.
Now go back to the participation trophies. Replace that with a slice of the pie that is the job field. How many people got the “trophy” because they were merely there, or there weren’t big enough trophies because the participation ones sucked up resources.
And then of course there’s always luck. That’s what hurt me in the past. Bad luck, but also some bad decisions. I crashed and burned my first year of law school because I was suffering my first broken heart. Now, that’s the stupid boy’s fault… end of story 🙂 No, not really. I made some bad decisions and trusted someone I shouldn’t have. And that’s on me. (I mean, the jackass told me he was a politician back in his country, you can’t say I wasn’t warned 🙂
And that’s kind of my point with this whole rambling thing. Luck and nepotism play a role, but you’ve got to take responsibility for what you did. And if you don’t get the trophy, work harder next year 🙂