Breathing Awards

Everyone is a winner today... even the losers


I am not, never have been, and never will be a basketball player.

This has been a hard truth to stomach, but I have slowly come to accept it.

No matter how hard I try to dribble, the ball always finds itself rolling off the tip of my foot. No matter how much I cheat playing HORSE, I end up with an “E” before my opponent reaches “H”.

But when I received my dazzling gold “Biddy Ball Participant” medal in third grade, I saw a starting position on the US Olympic Women’s Basketball team in my near future.

Now, let’s face it: basketball isn’t my thing. It is something I will never succeed in.

And that is ok.

What is not ok: the false sense of worth and unrealistic view of my true abilities that little piece of plastic caused me.

We will call it a tie, even though one was obviously smarter or faster right? That thought process seems ridiculous, but is now an all too common occurrence.

Our society has made it acceptable to make everybody feel like a winner, even when they clearly are not.

In the past, high regard was earned from the display of distinguished and superior qualities. Currently, praise is just expected.

Kids aren’t willing to put in effort, knowing they will still receive a “Good job, Buddy,” regardless of performance quality. “Breathing awards” are basically handed out.

But who can blame children consumed by this entitled mindset when even the first kid out at the spelling bee is handed a ribbon?

Society is willing to sacrifice true progress in order to prevent hurt feelings. While this method might save a couple tears temporarily, it ultimately causes the amount of true winners to dwindle.

By making everybody a winner, our generations’ are missing out on a pivotal part of life: experiencing failure.

Ultimately, failure is the birth to lessons that will guide one through life. Instead of being viewed as lethal, losing should promote the desire to improve a skill set.

Rejection is not only a natural, but a common, part of life. Everywhere you go somebody will be better.

It is ok to sit the bench, it is ok to try out for something and not make it, and it definitely would have been ok for me to know I wasn’t the next Brittney Griner.

Consequently, winning transforms into a deeper joy and satisfaction.

Let’s face it, everybody isn’t a winner. It takes hard work and learned lessons to become successful.

Instead of putting all of our concentration into avoiding failure, maybe society should start celebrating true success.