The Participation Trophy Mentality
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The Participation Trophy Mentality

"Well, at least you had fun!"

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The Participation Trophy Mentality
Justin Kolzow

Today, kids are all raised on the premise that they're all destined for great things; they're promised since day one that they're all going to accomplish their biggest goals and aspirations.

But is life really that easy? Can anyone really just stand there and accomplish anything? Absolutely not. Success comes through hard work and dedication, two qualities that are becoming increasingly rare in people these days. People bounce around from relationship to relationship. Why? They lack the commitment. High school athletes don't come to summer training camps, and then they complain when they don't see the field come Fall. Why? They lack the dedication and they lack the commitment.

You see, some people say that our generation is going downhill. We get seen as this generation of no good, lazy teens that have no aspirations in life... We're the kids that think everything in life is going to be handed to us.

But the truth of the matter is that that's all most of us have ever known. We've been raised on this idea that "Everyone gets their own trophy, regardless of who wins. Did you have fun? Because that's all that matters!" But that just isn't how life works, and fortunately some of us were raised to realize that.

I was fortunate enough to be raised by two parents that loved me unconditionally. My parents mean the world to me, and in recent years I realized how well my parents raised me in comparison to those around me.

Ever since I was little my parents raised me with manners. It was never "yeah" or "no"; it was always "yes sir" and "no sir". But, more important than the grammar and the manners, the best lesson I ever could've asked my parents to teach me was thankfulness.

I was never handed anything as a child. Everything I got I earned, simple as that. Because of that, my mom and dad simply instilled in me a sense of pride in every single thing that ever came my way. Unlike others, I wasn't raised on the idea that I deserved a trophy if I had fun or if I finished a season. If you win, you get a trophy, simple as that. It makes winning so much sweeter, because you get the feeling that you earned that trophy.

In life, like in sports, you won't always win, and because of that you won't always be rewarded, and our generation really has to learn that.

Losing may build character, but winning? Winning builds champions. And I'd much rather be a champion.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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