Not Everyone’s A Winner

Competition is everywhere. There isn’t a single human being that can escape competition. Whether it be striving for the best grade in the class, working harder to get a promotion, or trying to impress someone more than the person next to us, we are always finding ways to compete. Competition is what makes us better. If everyone is going to receive a pay raise, you have no reason to work harder to get it. If everyone receives the same grade, there’s no need to study harder to receive the highest grade. This is why participation trophies are unnecessary and diminishing of actual accomplishment.

“Participation trophies,” both physical and metaphorical, were created as a way to make everyone feel equal and leave no one left out. While they have done this, the idea that “there are no losers” gives the impression that, no matter how much or how little effort is given, you can’t lose. Use of participation trophies leads to a lack of competition and effort, preventing people from achieving their true potential.

In addition, participation trophies deny those who are truly successful from valid recognition. While these “prizes” help those who aren’t successful to feel better about their skills, it inhibits true skill and talent from getting the recognition it deserves.

The fact of the matter is, if everyone is “special”, no one is actually special. If there are no losers, then there are also no winners. By not keeping score of an athletic event, by paying all employees the same amount, or simply just by giving everyone the same reward at the end of the road, we destroy any true sense of accomplishment. Everyone wants to be a winner, but not everyone can be; that’s a fact of life. But by trying to make everyone a winner, we cheapen true achievement and success. In the end, by using participation trophies, everyone walks away with no reward at all.