'Only a Few Win' Mentality More Dangerous to Kids Than Participation Trophies
written by Bob Cook; photo by Kevin Rutherford
2016 (Forbes Magazine)
*Click on the link and read Bob's opinion piece. My thoughts come after reading it.
Life does not have a 'winner's podium'. Not if life means being a good, conscientious person who measures success not merely by money made or career title held. - Bob Cook
Congratulations, my fellow Gen X'ers (born 1965-1984)! You have fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book. For that, you should receive a trophy. What did you fall for? Complaining about the generation that came after you. Your trophy should come complete with a patch of grass that you can tell people to get off of. These complaints most frequently come in the form of whining about participation trophies. Yes, that combination of cheap gold plastic, metal, and wood apparently has been the ruination of a generation. The argument is that millennials have become spoiled because everything has been handed to them. Like a participation trophy.
It's funny that this complaining comes from the 'snap judgement' generation that has grown up with cable news and believes nuance is a French perfume. I work with children every day and have two daughters. These kids know about winning and losing. My oldest daughter and her classmates have worked fifty times harder than me or my classmates ever did to get into college. And they'll have to pay fifty times as much because of me and my fellow Gen X'ers. Those kids who receive bags of food at school to take home to their families? They know about winning and losing.
You know what participation trophies do? They shift the focus to working on building skills and collaborating with your teammates. Aren't those useful and life long skills that we want our young people to have? There will be plenty of time for learning about winning and losing. Life is funny like that.