The Mirror

The “Trophy Issue”


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By AUSTIN STANKOWSKI

The Mirror reporter

Our society has created a problem that has gone unchecked for far too long. This problem is known as the “Trophy Issue” to some. The “Trophy Issue” stems out from parents and children wanting credit for everything they do, even if they didn’t accomplish their ultimate goal.

Imagine this scenario: a team just lost their second tournament elimination game and is feeling terrible. Suddenly, a tournament director strolls out and begins to hand out participation trophies to each kid on the team. The kids immediately feel better because they got recognition, but did they earn it? Did those kids deserve a trophy just as much as the team that took first place? The kids who took first probably had a plan and executed it perfectly which enabled them to win. Now the tournament that they just won handed out trophies to everyone, making winning less special.

When our society awards failure it leads to more people failing later in life. A popular saying heard from some of our elders is, “Why are kids so lazy these days?” Kids are lazier because through their life they have been praised for failing. Their brains are taught that they don’t have to try their best to fail, and they will still get recognition. This is what will kill our future society unless we change things now.

Sure, it is great if a little boy or girl is able to win a prize after he lost because it cheers them up. There is a problem with this though, the human mind needs to feel defeat in all of its entirety in order to learn. After someone feels defeat, it teaches the mind to strive for better, which sets everyone up for a better work ethic now and later in life.

By awarding trophies to people for “participation” we are setting a standard that just trying is “good enough” in the eyes of society. Realistically, the only standard that should be set is perfection, (i.e.: first, second, or third place.) By allowing kids to feel good now, we are taking away from the person they could be in the future.

Every time the human brain learns a “bad” behavior such as not striving for perfection, it lessens an individual’s potential. Everyone who is born has potential to be the best. All it takes is a little hard work along the way.

By granting participation trophies we are showing kids that we do not have to be perfect, and this may be making society take a step back. By eliminating participation trophies we will make our world a better place, and along the way, improve our lives.

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The “Trophy Issue”