Over the last few days, social media has drawn my attention to a topic that gets people heated: participation trophies for children. A few people have come out swinging, furious about the idea that a child should get a plaque or ribbon or medal or trophy for anything other than winning.
Steeler James Harrison reignited this conversation by putting a photo of some trophies on Instagram, telling the world he was going to throw them away, and hashtagging #harrisonfamilyvalues. He wants them to EARN their trophies, as he says.
Okay. I’ll agree with Drew Margary and quite a few others with, as Margary says:
Now, here is my SUPER CONTROVERSIAL take on participant trophies: They’re fine. They are pointless and stupid, but actively harmless. A trophy is the party favor you get for paying a couple hundred bucks to join a league. It’s a souvenir. A memento.
I’ll also note, as I did during my Interstellar recap, that I don’t have children. But I think that there is a solution here that I would like to see: James Harrison needs to take this a step farther and define success. He needs to define what it means to “EARN a real trophy.” What is to earn? What is a real trophy? What is winning? What is success? Continue reading “Steeler James Harrison Should Only Be Paid for Games He Wins”