You suck, here’s your trophy

I read the story about the principal in Massachusetts who upset some parents by trying to “include everyone” in his school’s Honor’s Awards ceremony by canceling the traditional exclusive evening dinner and celebration. He replaced it with an assembly in the middle of the day that everyone can experience, and by “experience” I mean ditch to go smoke outside behind the bleachers.

Principal Cares-A-Lot said he abolished the original celebration because he didn’t want the poor snowflakes who aren’t invited to be “devastated”. You know, he’s right: as a student whose only academic accomplishment was graduating without being forced to take summer school, I can tell you that I was truly emotionally ruined by not having my below par achievements undeservedly recognized during a public event. I even said so at the time to my friends. “Bro, I can’t believe I’m not getting an award for passing my tech ed and weight training classes. I’m devastated. My self image has been shattered into a million pieces! My heart, it moans with anguished cries of sorrow!”

Look, seriously, I think we are all done with this crap, right? We’ve all had quite enough of these liberal nincompoops and their bizarre sets of priorities. How is it that many of the same folks who wish to shield kids from the realities of defeat and under achievement, are the very ones who would like to see Sex Ed classes and condom demonstrations in elementary schools? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU MANIACS? There are some things you shelter children from and there are some things you expose them to. Our society seems to have the two categories exactly reversed.

Winning, losing, competition, defeat, success, achievement, failure, these are all good and worthy lessons. It’s freaking ESSENTIAL that the little munchkins understand all of these concepts BEFORE they hit the real world and the job market. Just ask the business owners who have to field inquiries from skill-less self entitled brats who saunter into interviews armed with a degree in communications and zero experience doing anything of value, and then threaten to file a complaint with the EEOC when they’re shockingly passed over in favor of someone who actually brings something to the table other than the collegiate equivalent of a participation trophy. We’ve managed to create a culture that produces people who don’t understand the most basic law of the universe: if you’re better, you win. If you’re worse, you fail.

And there’s something else that gets lost here. If the ‘participation trophy/everyone gets a game ball/here’s an award even though you suck/everyone is special’ thing doesn’t succeed in turning a kid into a delusional, egotistical freak, the only other possibility is that it serves to further humiliate him. I speak, again, from experience. When our little league team received a trophy even though we lost every game and hadn’t, collectively, made contact with the ball since April, I knew it was out of pity. I may have been terrible at baseball but I wasn’t stupid. And now we had to suffer the embarrassment of taking our little plastic statues and listening to our coach try to find something positive to say about us as he passed them out. “Here you go boys, you really had fun and worked hard out there!” No, coach. We neither tried hard nor did we have fun. We spent the season praying for rain cancellations and throwing dirt at each other in the outfield. Go donate these trophies to the poor. We don’t deserve them. We are abominations. May God have mercy on our souls.

So let’s get back to awarding people who actually do award worthy things. It’s a crazy idea, I know, but it’s worth a shot.

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