A ribbon for participation.

I am a surveyor who likes ranting about whatever is on my mind on a blog. I am prone to terrible run-on sentences, occasionally rambling postings, some spelling errors that slip through the spell-check function of the blog, and some grammatical errors that doubtless have made some of the grammar fixated wish that they could jump through their computer screen and slap me in the head. Some of my writings may be dull or lack in creativity at times. I recognize these literary shortcomings on my part.

Despite knowing that I do not write among the best on earth, I find it simply agonizing as the collective best among academia gather at Columbia University (an institution that I have been unfairly prevented from attending), and work to truly wreak havoc on my self-esteem through highlighting the planet’s literary best through an internationally celebrated awards ceremony. As the spotlight shines on the world’s literary best, a sidelight shines upon my inadequate writings thus humiliating me on a profound scale. How dare they openly remind me that I will never be able to reach the apex of literary achievement!! How cruel and unfair this world is indeed. Every time I see one of these award winners I nearly fall prostrate and go fetal in agony as they rub my nose in my shame of not being able to produce the world’s best.

This cruel ceremony must end! This recognition and presentation is damaging to the self-esteem of every literate person on earth who does not win it!

THE PULITZER PRIZES MUST BE BANNED!!

pulitzer

While the above demand appears to be ridiculous and the rationale behind it whining, entitled and petulant, it is pretty much the same sort of demand and same rationale being used by the idiots in a Calgary school who have managed to get the honour roll among all other academic recognitions and their associated ceremonies removed from the school.

Kurt Vonnegut (another robbed of a Pulitzer) wrote a fantastic short-story called Harrison Bergeron that I strongly recommend anybody read if they have not already. He depicts a futuristic world where equality is achieved through the removal of all recognition that anybody may have more ability than another and literal handicaps are applied to anybody who excels beyond the average in society.

Download Harrison Bergeron here

Vonnegut’s story truly does appear less and less like abstract science fiction as we see stories of the ongoing assault on all forms of recognition of excellence being successful. Scores are no longer kept in many children’s sports and games as simple as duck duck goose are actually being banned so that nobody may lose.

This pursuit and enforcement of mediocrity will not be creating children with higher self-esteem. If anything, these children are being set up for a catastrophic blow to their self-esteem when they leave the coddling walls of educational institutions only to discover that in the real world, not everybody gets a ribbon for participation. Will these kids with such a deep sense of entitlement be able to adapt to the harsh realities of life? I guess some will and some won’t, but hiding them from these lessons for their formative years will not be doing them any favors.

We need awards and heights in order to keep us striving. Ambition is not a bad thing, in fact it is essential. If the world had been controlled by these self-esteem obsessed fools 10,000 years ago, we still would never have seen the invention of fire for crying out loud. Do you think the inventor of the wheel did so for altruistic reasons? Do you think he didn’t seek the celebration of his peers as another part of his ambition along with seeking a better way to move things around?

We need to be taught to strive for the top yet accept that we won’t all make it there.

Some people are smarter than others. Some people are stronger than others. Some people are better looking than others. Some people work harder than others.

GET OVER IT!!

I think personally one of the biggest lessons I had in life has been to quit worrying about what others do or what they have. Envy and entitlement are the most poison of feelings and our attempts to enforce a form of equality where it really does not exist will only foster more entitled bitterness.

I know I won’t win a Pulitzer Prize. I am OK with that. I don’t let the knowledge of that keep me from writing and feeling satisfied with what I write. I can celebrate the top of the writing world while still being happy with my mediocre standing in it.

There are ways and there are ways to deal with inequality. I know and understand that I am not hung like Rasputin. I still make what I like to think is good use with what I have and go for a drive in my large diesel truck when it really bothers me. To follow the self-esteem movement’s lead, what I should be doing is lobbying that all men be surgically shortened to an equitable length or at least ban them from shared changing rooms in the name of fairness. It is no less ludicrous than many other proposals in the name of equality out there.

Sadly it is much easier to drag folks down in the quest for equality than it is to try to pull everybody else up. I hope this trend ends soon.

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6 thoughts on “A ribbon for participation.

  1. the quest for mediocrity is being extended to pro sports. it will soon be unacceptable for anyone to be injured while doing anything. in baseball we have the pitch out, in hockey the shootout. if the best pitcher is not good enough to pitch to the best batter then he should not be on the mound. if hockey is a team sport then the whole team plays until they win or lose. hockey is not played one on one.

  2. I can appreciate that being a teacher is not an easy career, as most good jobs aren’t, however the quality of teachers seems to be dropping. My memory may not be that good, but I’m sure that there were quite a few teachers that had a positive impact on me while growing up, and they had very high standards. As much as I respect (most) teachers, they operate in their own little world. So much their own, that they are willing to neglect their students accomplishments, but recognize only their own, as shown by their “2013-14 Excellence in Teaching Awards”. http://www.cbe.ab.ca/new/news2013-14/20131022-2013-14-excellence-in-teaching-awards-open.asp. Is not recognizing their students accomplishments a good thing? I see student excellence as a reflection of the teachers and the schools, so if the kids have done well, they should be recognized, thus complimenting the teachers work.

  3. I guess I didn’t pay attention in English. My grammar is poor in my post, I apologize. “Is not recognizing their students accomplishments a good thing?” should have read “Isn’t”….I think.

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