Friday, November 9, 2012

thanks for participating

Alright, I don’t usually use this blog to air my personal grievances but there is something on my mind that I want to throw out here to the interwebs. I know my last post wasn’t really funny and this post is going to come off as cranky, but hey at least it’s honest.  I’m a month away from finishing this semester in school and guess what I am cranky! Anyway, here is the thing that set me off.

This ecard popped up in my news feed on pinterest and has been lingering in the back of my mind for a little while now, but I’ve finally put my finger on why exactly it bothers me.

I love participation trophies. I think their great and should have been being given out for a long time. Hard work deserves recognition, just because someone isn’t the “winner” does not discredit the work they have done. There can only be a small number of winners, does that make everyone else a loser? Should we all be fighting tooth and nail to be the small percentage of “winners” and fall into despair when we come up short?No!

The idea that participation trophies are meaningless and teach our kids to celebrate mediocrity is a cold falsehood and thinking like that will get you in a lot of trouble. We idolize people like Walt Disney, and Bill Gates calling them innovative and ahead of their time. How many times do you think they failed before reaching the point of success? More than you would imagine. They got no participation trophies and yet kept going despite unkind words and a harsh and unappreciative atmosphere. They recognized in themselves that failure was no reflection on their own self-worth and kept trying. We don’t all have that inner voice, some of us need to be told that it’s ok to fail, some people need that “you weren’t the best but thanks for all your effort” participation trophy. Is that really so bad?

 As a mother of three uncoordinated future sports attempters I welcome these trophies. I’ll be clearing shelves, walls, and refrigerator doors just so I can display them proudly and openly. Wherever they aren’t offered I’ll fill in with participatory ice cream, and giant signs that read “You’re #1”.  Let me know if you need to hear that too, because I don’t mind making you a trophy.

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