As a young athlete growing up I began playing hockey in a lower level league called “In House”. It was a relatively low level of play in which you played only other kids within your rink; a developmental program if you will. Within this league, I remember very well getting trophies for playing within the league. No matter what you placed in the league, 1st or last, you would get the same trophy as all your peers. I remember even as a little kid I had mixed feelings about this. I didn’t earn it. Trophies were for the winning team.. I had watched professional hockey a bit at that point and understood that the losers weren’t given any form of trophy.
Today, I can tell you that I have a big problem with “participation trophies” because it has contributed to the soft, pandering nature of my generation, millennials. The kids raised for years on getting trophies and awards just for showing up and taking part now have a great lack of value for the most important aspects of getting ahead and being successful in life: grit, hard work, and determination. So many adults today have SUCH an entitled attitude and feel that they naturally just deserve to be happy and successful as long as they do the bare minimum. Many of my peers long for Socialism as they view it as some idealistic utopia in which everyone is magically equal and granted everything that they innately deserve.
I’ll be entirely transparent in saying that this mindset is not only a joke, but it is a cancer upon the success of an entire generation. From the earliest of times the world has been shaped by those that embrace hard work and being uncomfortable. The world has never been changed by someone who just sat around bitching about how unfair things are and how they deserved everything they wanted simply because they have a pulse. Even the most renown heroes of freedom and injustice (MLK, Ghandi, etc) worked their asses off to make a difference and embraced what felt uncomfortable as a sacrifice to make an impact towards what they thought felt right. Can you imagine if MLK had the same mindset as many of the millennial generation? If he just sat back and passively bitched that things were unfair and that he should have a safespace from all the hurtful words and people? The world would be a much different place to say the least.
No matter what the impact you are trying to make or the successes you crave, it is about knowing that the world doesn’t owe you jack shit in my mind. If you want something to change, you are going to have to go out and work your ass off day in and day out to make that change happen. Once the real world hits, don’t count on another participation trophy coming your way just because you’ve stuck it out for this long. Your boss is gonna laugh in your face if you bring that attitude to work and your renter will kick you to the curb if you come up short on rent despite what you feel you deserve.
The entitlement and lack of willingness to work has messed up society enough as is. I argue that it is time to flip the switch, take accountability for your own shortcomings and work your ass off to pursue the life that you desire.