Should everyone get a trophy?

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Rewards disillusion children and decrease competitiveness

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Are we teaching the younger generation that everyone wins, and everyone deserves a trophy? Because in the real world, that statement is far from reality. With things like Little League Baseball now fairly popular, and more people trying to create a fair society, it may be detrimental to not only us, but our younger generations.

Remember back in elementary when you picked teams? Some kids were always picked first (even if they were terrible) and there were some that were picked last. But as years went by, you saw that the teams were split up evenly to make it “fair.” Was that really the way to fix the problem? The kids that maybe were not as good before would just stop caring and not choose to get any better, then cry because they got picked last. Some kids wouldn’t choose to go out in the backyard and throw to dad for an hour on the weekends because they just wanted to be on the winning team. But when someone was picked to be on a team, it would make the child want to get better, and beat the kid they hated so much.

When people are picked randomly, and there is an even playing field, people aren’t treated the way that they are expected to, and friction appears. When we level the playing field, we take away the competitive drive from children. Some parents don’t like competition, because then they believe that we are not teaching them anything. Competition is what this country is based on. From athletics, to academics and even business. Competition will happen, and should be encouraged sometimes. At the end of the day, not everyone earns that same amount of money and gets the same quality house. It’s better to teach competitiveness than fairness.

The real world is full of good things and bad. Some people become movie stars and some become millionaires. Not everybody does and we might be teaching our kids that everybody can become those things. There’s nothing wrong with kids having big dreams like becoming the next president of the United States, but only 44 people have done so. And telling young ones that you could be something that only a small amount of people have become may not be truly realistic. It may be sad, but it is very true.

Competition also drives our economy and others around the world. The website heritage.org creates an index based on economic freedom. Hong Kong has been the top country of economic freedom for the last twenty years. They have had small government, low taxes and light regulation. But even the index has said that “(Hong Kong’s) strong commitment to economic freedom has become somewhat less exceptional as average world economic freedom has advanced.”

Because countries try to outplay each other economically, they all have become freer on average. Economic freedom is also beneficial for the people and businesses in those countries. The more freedom that those countries have, the more they can improve. With the freedom, they have the drive to get better. That is quite contrary for communist economies, because there is virtually no competition. Everything is fair, structured, and not creative, so nobody has the drive to get better. If they try to earn more money, it just goes back into the economy until you are equal with everyone else. That’s why some countries may do better financially than others.

However, there is a very fine line between competitive and wrong. There was a show called Friday Night Tykes on the Esquire Network that looked into youth football. The mindsets of the coaches made it seem like you were watching the NFL. According to Bleacher Report, they described the events on the show as “Kids are crying, coaches are screaming and the youngsters are shown exchanging helmet-to-helmet shots.” That would be an example of wrong. The competition doesn’t need to be as intense as pro football. But as long as there is some friendly competition, kids will have the drive to at least attempt to outplay each other. When that happens, they all become better because they try to improve and outplay one another.

So, maybe some friendly competition wouldn’t be a bad thing for everyone. If we teach our kids to work hard and try to get better, they will end up okay. Not everybody wins, so we should try to encourage people to be one of the people that win and do well, just don’t try to take someone’s head off.

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The student news website of Omaha Central High School
Should everyone get a trophy?