We Should Not Give Participation Awards
I want to start this off with a little hypothetical story. There are two kids, one who trained his hardest; working out everyday, physically, and even mentally for a big soccer game. The other, did nothing of the sort to prepare himself for the match. The boy’s team who trained really hard won, and was awarded a medal for first place; along with a sense of pride that he trained hard and deserved what was given to him. The other boy’s team lost, of course, but every kid on the team received a trophy, for participating. Besides a trophy, they got extra attention and pity for losing. The spotlight was taken away from the boy who trained, and tried. Why? Because, trophies should be given to everyone; even for participating. When approaching anything, trying your absolute best and participating is expected in any area of life. Excellence can be rewarded, but purely being a participant, in my mind, does not mean recognition. Maybe we should give every student an award for showing up to school each day, or all office workers a prize for staying between 9 and 5? A reward should be earned. Competition is healthy and promotes the idea of working hard, and earning recognition. Everyone else should congratulate the recipient and strive to get there next time.
Let’s look at the bigger picture. If we award kids now for participating, we are taking away that sense of working hard to achieve a goal.
When we grow up, the real world doesn’t exactly work this way. When you go in for a job unprepared and not applicable; you don’t get an award for “participating.” It’s a false sense of pride, in not competing whole-heartedly and wanting to win. Let’s face it, the boy who trained hard is going to get the job; not the one who sat in front of the t.v eating potato chips. What this inevitably leads to is entitled adults who think they should be rewarded for just showing up;...