Why We Need To Ban Them!
(Disclaimer: This is a satirical article. The appearance of reality is simply an inexplicable expression of my gift of sarcasm. Any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead, is strictly incidental.)
For this past week since the Presidential election I have been observing with great insensitivity to the details. I have intentionally looked long and deep at the people who are rioting in places like the Wacko Coast (known to some as the West Coast, including but not limited to the region known as the Northwest Coast), New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and other areas known as The Great Void of Common Sense (such as Boston, Providence R.I., Portland Maine, et.al.). I not only looked long at their faces but also into their eyes. I have listened to their quotes with great ad nauseam as well. And here is my personal conclusion to all the chaos: PARTICIPATION TROPHIES ARE TO BLAME!
Soccer moms, millennial youth leaders, you heard me correctly. The cause of all this rioting and pestiferous savoir-faire lies clearly at the base of that gelastic and farcical mutation of human dignity and valuation called the Participation Trophy. No other creation or contrivance of the acumen from Homo sapiens has accomplished such reprehensible and opprobrious corollary as the invidious Participation Trophy. Take a moment to ruminate on this aggregate denouement .
In our not so distant history trophies were reserved for actual proficiency in the pursuance of measurable skills and goals. Typically these were reserved for measurable results that were classified as best, almost best, and above all the rest; otherwise known as first, second or third place. Teams in the arenas of competition clearly understood this conceptualization. The result of this conceptualization was that each member of the team would study, learn and practice their moxie in the effort to do more than participate, but to accomplish a measurable goal, that being success!
And in the realm of individual prowess, people would apply themselves to become the best at whatever they were involved. This meant strenuous and operose application of the most personal of resources–their time and effort. But we engaged in this activity knowing ahead of time that we may not win that trophy. And here is the epitome of our resolve and determination: we went ahead and applied ourselves to put forth our best efforts in the pursuit of that trophy. Today we are seen as maniacal, but it was simply the application and exertion of common sense.
And if that wasn’t maniacal enough, if we did not win a trophy we experienced this emotion called disappointment. Now, to show you what wild and crazy people we were, after experiencing disappointment, we actually got over it. Can you imagine that? Got over it! What was wrong with us. And to further show our insanity, we picked ourselves back up and we really did try again. We were convinced that crying and whining did not accomplish diddly-squat. And to show how disrespectful and mean we were, we called those who did not get back up and try “cry babies”.
By not receiving this abominable thing called the PARTICIPATION TROPHY, we grew up believing and proving that courage, resolve, and hard work made our communities and culture better, not bitter. We actually believed that success was borne out of both our best efforts and adversity. Each success and each failure were moments to learn from and lessons that could be applied to real life. We were daredevils who laughed in the face of potential failure because we knew we were stronger than any single moment in time. Oh, and about our teams, we actually worked diligently at helping others to become better at their tasks. But there was one trophy that was highly prized that was not designated for the best. It was the “Most Improved Trophy”. The improvement was not measured by participating. Rather it came through showing both the desire to learn and the willingness to sacrifice for that measurable achievement.
If our nation is going to survive and become flourishing and not languishing, it will be when enough people stand up and declare with every fiber of their being, “NO MORE PARTICIPATION TROPHIES!” Let’s start a dynamism that creates a paradigm shift in the United States. Let us collect all the existing PARTICIPATION TROPHIES and deliver them to recycling centers. And the parts that cannot be recycled, send them to innovative places that can re-purpose them into something that is actually useful, like a paperweight. As much as I loathe governmental over-regulation, let us add another amendment to that document that was birthed from hard work and determination, otherwise known as the United States Constitution; an amendment that bans any and all PARTICIPATION TROPHIES until the end of time.
I leave you with this great work of art from one of this culture’s greatest and innovative minds, and challenge you, my readers, to start the hashtag #BanParticipationTrophies. Oh wait, here’s a better idea. Show and share this thing called determination and personal responsibility. Teach others that failure is not fatal, but the opportunity to rise up and become stronger, and kinder.