If You Ain’t First…Yer Last

Apparently there is a debate brewing regarding participation trophies for kids in sports. I think Rick Bobby of Talladega Nights said it best – “If you ain’t first, yer last.” Or maybe what The Donald has said about losers and winners – “I like people who weren’t captured.” (The Donald on Losers) Or as a former boss of mine declared about people’s work product – “It’s not great it’s just work.”

So if these shining examples surround us how can we feel bad about a parent revoking Participation Trophies from his sons because he feels they should “earn” them?

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Hog wash.

If my child has participated in a sport (or any other activity) I believe they should be recognized for participating. If a child goes to the practice, learns the drills, participates in the plays, and does what is asked of him then why shouldn’t he be rewarded? Just because he may not be the most talented or the winner he should not be shunned for fear of leading him down the path of laziness.

Opponents of the practice to award kids participation trophies might say: a) it teaches kids they don’t have to work for anything in life; b) you have to earn everything in life (hello – this is false!!); c) it doesn’t teach kids about winning and losing; or d) kids will not know life isn’t fair. (Do We All Deserve A Gold? Setting kids up to fail. – Post published by Vivian Diller Ph.D. on Nov 19, 2011 in Face It)

However, I would argue these ideas with the following:

  • Is it wrong to reward a child for trying or is a pat on the back sufficient?
  • Is it so bad to encourage a child to participate in anything by recognizing their efforts to do so?
  • Shouldn’t the parents take the responsibility to tell their child that they just aren’t good enough?
  • And why does a parent have to crush a child’s ego by expressing the child doesn’t have the talent to participate in a given sport?
  • Don’t we reward participation for junior varsity and varsity sports?
  • Will kids really not understand that life isn’t fair? Hello…I’m a Black man living in America…I think it becomes obvious at some point that life is far from fair.
  • Finally, if you look at the very successful people of today they didn’t reach their level of success because of their talent but because of their success to nurture relationships.

These are the reasons why rewarding some kid a medal for participating will not hurt them as they come up in the world. In a way it will hopefully motivate them to become better. Heck, it’s better than the child sitting home all day playing games. And let’s be honest, the ole pat-on-the-back just ain’t cutting it like it used to – then again, in our jobs we would all be so lucky to get that pat-on-the-back.

Go well and with love good peeps.

I Have No More Campaigns to Run…

(heckling in the background)…”I know ‘cause I won both of ‘em.”

You’re damn straight Mr. President! Now hopefully you can just focus on your job and add to the successes you are already laying in place.

It continues to amaze me how hypocritical people can be. We are told as kids to obey the authorities yet hecklers in Congress have the audacity to attempt to belittle the most powerful man on the planet – the POTUS.

I guess he told them to just STFU. Well isn’t that special? (Spoken in my Church Lady voice)

I can’t remember in my lifetime how a sitting president was heckled and ridiculed by the masses so much. President Ford comes to mind but it was more for his clumsiness than his politics (which I hear were just as clumsy).

Allow me to get on my political soapbox once again to stir the pot of positivity for the job our POTUS has done over the past six years. Lest I remind you and take you back to that dark time six years ago as markets crashed, housing crashed, jobs were lost, war raged, and profits fell. Those dark times as America fell on hard times as the public became wary of the future and other countries began to question our leadership.

World markets collapsed, we in America were experiencing one of the largest recessions since the Great Depression of the 1920’s, and nobody seemed to have a clear vision on how were going to get out of this mess.

Then along came a message of HOPE.

Yes, it seemed cliché at the time and may have even been a bit politicized. However, there was a true hopefulness in the air as we witnessed history as America elected its first non-White leader. While race should not be the only thing to hang our hats, and best believe if you believe it was with this president you are fooling yourself, but the idea that we all can have a chance at success.

Selling belief and hope – that’s what we were buying six years ago.

Here we are today. We can’t help but witness some facts and numbers about the success of President Obama’s tenure and how we have overcome those dark days of 2008. We can ignore or interpret these facts all we want but the truth is out there – as Agent Mulder would say.

The bottom line is this:

  1. The POTUS has taken more abuse than any other president in history – especially with the help of technology and Social Media.
  2. The POTUS is still seen as a Black man – even though he is of mixed race.
  3. The POTUS has had to jump through hoops to prove his value.
  4. The POTUS is a “bad mutha…”

I do hope we get beyond the name calling, disrespect, and general hate aimed toward the president or anyone that looks like him. I pray that our country ultimately comes together in support of the direction the president is taking us. And I still remain hopeful that his legacy will be recognized upon his exit from office. He, like others, has made mistakes but know that he has a different set of challenges facing him unlike any other past president – and it is because the color of his skin.

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Oh well, in three more years we might be welcoming the first female president of the United States. Stranger things have happened in my lifetime. #HillaryClinton

Go well and with love good peeps…