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Writing 101: Day One

2 Jun

Assignment: Free write for 20 minutes…about anything

Hum. Twenty minutes. Just wrote something for Post-A-Day. What’s left in this brain of mine? Something that has been on my mind for a long time. The downfall of society. The thing that has changed the fabric of our lives…participation trophies.

Seriously. Seriously??? I shit you not. Think about it. Used to, you were taught that setting goals and working hard to obtain them was the way of life. We were encouraged, shit, expected, to have goals and to work hard for them. We were taught that nothing worth getting wasn’t worth fighting for, and that if it was too easy to get, well, it really wasn’t worth getting after all. Pick a bigger goal. We also learned, often the hard way, that we don’t always reach those goals. Sometimes there is someone, or some team, or some entity, bigger, or stronger, or smarter, or more cunning that will win. That’s the way of the world. Survival of the fittest. Everyone doesn’t win…there is always a #1!! Suck it up, buttercup!

Here’s the important part. We were taught to deal with it. We were given the tools and skills to deal with disappointments like that. To lick our wounds, pick ourselves up, and carry on. All the while continuing to make, plan, and work for other goals and dreams. It’s what we are meant to do as humans. It’s that competitive spirit and drive that makes us great. It’s the American Way!! American ingenuity wasn’t built on crying, because you didn’t get your way! It was built on trying, failing, trying, failing, and perhaps trying again…until you succeed.

So now we introduce the participation trophy, because little Jimmy’s parents never learned how to discipline him and he cries every time he doesn’t get his way. Imagine what a fit he throws at the end of t-ball season when Billy got a trophy (because Billy’s team kicked ass that year) and he didn’t get one!! Waaaahhhhh. Right!  It starts in fucking t-ball season when they’re mere babies! These parents, instead of teaching them the lesson of losing gracefully and working harder the next year to reach that goal, start to get indignant that little Jimmy didn’t get a trophy, too! How dare they? Little Jimmy showed up for practice just like the rest of those boys! He’s so little…he really should get a trophy so his feelings don’t get hurt.

Are you fucking kidding me? Participation trophies do nothing but build kids up with false praise and handicap them for life, in my opinion.

Instead of being parents, They become his biggest crutch, and all of the parents like them who advocated, all those years ago, for the same thing. Much like “new math,” which was the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my life! I was not in that group of mothers, and that movement started when my boy entered the youth rec sports arena at the age of 8 years old…the youngest you could be, to join at that time.

We are not helping our youth by handing them accolades that are not earned. We must teach them how to deal with little, but meaningful to their young minds, dramas and disappointments, otherwise we have a teenager or young adult who doesn’t know how to deal with not winning, or rejection, and then they turn into that idiot who just killed all those sorority girls in Santa Barbara. Seriously. Did you watch that video? He really believed that he deserved to win any prize he wanted. He probably got a lot of participation trophies and false praise as a kid…