5/05/2008

When I am King: ATrophy for Everyone

When I am King...

Everyone will get the recognition they deserve. And don't.

Children today get trophies for everything from sports to academics to drive-by's. And what's more: they get awards when they don't win the competition, or even when they clearly lost. Because there is understanding in our society that our children need more emotional support for their self-esteem.

But emotional support is difficult, so we give them awards instead.

When I was a child, the only trophies were given out to the winners (or so I heard from those who actually won). And in prior generations, the only award given was that the winner didn't get physically beaten as much as the losers (which is where the term comes from: those conestants who were "beat" in a race then faced severe physical abuse at the hands of the friends and loved ones. It was considered both a good motivation during the event as well as fun for the crowd afterwards).

But I don't think we've gone far enough. Why recognize the 50% of the students who make the honor roll in sixth grade and not give out awards to the rest of the class as well? Imagine the emotional injury we're causing by not giving them something at least that says, "Here's hoping you suck less next term."

When I am King, we will do more to award less. Some awards will be bumper stickers that announce your highest achievements to drivers that should be watching the road instead. Some will be certificates because we all need more of those floating around the house. But all of them will be meaningful and heart-felt in the way that only anonymous awards given to the masses can be.

Some examples of child recognitions that my ministry is proposing include the following:

  • My child graduated to third grade
  • My child gets the opportunity to repeat second grade
  • My child isn't on the honor roll because the grading system is unfairly biased toward smart kids
  • My seventh-grader got dressed this morning with minimal assistance
  • My child gets out on parole next month
But why should we limit this program to just children? Everyone has self-esteem issues and needs the opportunity to feel better about themselves, no matter how badly they screw up. Some of the adult awards under consideration include these:


  • My husband hasn't beaten me yet this year
  • My wife practiced safe sex with ten different men last month
  • My spouse has been alcohol-free for 30 2 days
  • Most profitable home-based meth lab in the tri-county area
  • Highest number of jobs fired from in the last year
  • Not dead yet

Remember: it's not about what you do that counts; it's about how you feel. And we want you to feel just as good about the things you haven't done.

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