Do you guys know who James Harrison is? He is a player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He made major news this week. His kids - ages 6 and 8 were given trophies. For what? For PARTICIPATING. Not for winning, but for showing up.
Harrison wrote on Instagram that he was giving those trophies back:
"While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy,"
This has created a veritable shitstorm – both pro and con. Personally, I say good for Harrison!! We have become a nation of people that expect to have it easy. To be rewarded for something we didn’t work for and didn’t earn.
In my own weight loss efforts I experienced that. Like many of you out there and many people in this world I wanted it EASY. I didn’t want to have to WORK for it. I waited for years for the magic pill that would let me sit on my ass, eating fistful and fistful of crap and weigh 115 pounds. I wanted the reward just for wanting it. But that ain’t the real fucking world.
In the real world you don’t get it that easy. Your don’t eat right and exercise for one day and lose 100 pounds. You don’t show up to work and make a half assed effort and get a large bonus. No, it takes work and sweat equity to get the real rewards.
We shouldn’t be teaching our kids that the get rewarded without the work. We should teach them that they need to work hard and do their best. When that happens, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Life isn’t fair. We can always try harder.
Kids should feel loved and encouraged as should we as adults. But we don’t deserve rewards for something we didn’t earn.
What message does that send to the child or adult that wins? That you work your ass off and excel and you get exactly the same as the kid that did no work? What kind of message is that?
Taking the easy way out isn’t that answer. Harrison knows this all too well as he was overlooked in the draft and was cut from at least 2 teams before working like hell to become a top performer in the NFL.
I also think that we need to teach our society that working as hard as we can, doing our very best, bettering ourselves is its own reward. We don’t have to have material things all the time.
At least that’s my $0.02.