Participation awards… they’re commonly seen as things to give out just so every kid goes home feeling great about themselves. In a way, this is kind of true, because without it kids will feel inferior to others beginning at a young age. For a while now, many people have stated that these awards should not be given out to kids for the simple reason that in the real world, there is no such thing as participation awards. In the real world, no one gives a damn if you tried, if you tried your absolute best or if you’ve never worked on something so hard before. It just simply does not matter. What matters is if you got it done and if you got it done well. And yeah, that statement couldn’t be any truer. But you know what? I think that participation awards are great. I don’t think this because of the false hope it gives to children that they’re efforts will be taken into consideration throughout their life. I think this because of the hope it gives to them that they’re efforts are enough for them to feel pride in themselves. Recieving a physical award for trying when they are young teaches them to give themselves an abstract award for trying when they are more mature. It teaches them that your efforts can count if you make them count. You may not get credit or recognition from others, but if you recognize it yourself and take pride in that, you can not only use it to feel good about yourself, but you can also use it to learn and improve. Your efforts help you learn more about yourself, your situation, and the way you handle that situation.
The reason I’m writing this post? Well, just a few days ago, I recieved a participation award. This was the first in a quite a long time. And at first, per usual, I was upset that this was the only award that I had recieved. But while my mind wandered and dug deeper into the subject, I realized that what I had done to even recieve the participation award was something that I should be pretty proud of. It showed determination and bravery. So yes, I’m proud of myself and my particpation award. I’m so proud that I may even frame it. 😉