Everyone getting a “Participation Trophy’ does not understand the concept of ‘hard work ethic”.

Here’s a story of a “TEACHER FAILS ENTIRE CLASS”

“An economics professor at a local college made a statement that she had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, ‘OK, we will have an experiment in this class on this plan’. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

  1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
  2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
  3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
  4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
  5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.”

The story above speaks volumes in relation to hard work and work ethic. I’ve seen it many times before in school (elementary up through college) especially in group projects where the students have to work together in order to complete a project by a certain due date.

We all know how this plays out in the group project setting:

  1. One student says they will help but does not at all.
  2. One student does all the work intensive labor behind the project
  3. One student helps a little – but with not much effort – just to “show” that he/she did help in the project.
  4. One student never appears to the group meetings to help out with the project – but still gets credit for the group project at the end.

Ironically enough, it doesn’t stop there within our education system. It continues on through out the work force – even after school (or after attaining a degree). The vicious cycle continues yet again.

There will always be:

  1. One individual who is always the hard worker, possibly carrying the weight of the rest of the team, business, or even whole company.
  2. One individual being present within the work force. They put on the façade that they are busy doing something but not actually doing work. Making everyone believe that they are contributing to help – but in actuality – they are not working at all.
  3. One individual who is always complaining about the work but not doing anything to help get the work done.
  4. One individual who is there not doing anything at all until they are told to do something. Not taking the initiative to actually seek out what and who needs help nor what needs to be done.

Here is where the “Participation Trophy” analogy rests & ties into everything… A participation trophy is a trophy given to children who participate in a sporting event but do not finish in first, second or third place, and so would not normally be eligible for a trophy. These such things, in my honest opinion, has the unintended consequence of “entitlement” to the participants who received a trophy – not being first, second or third place – but just for participating.

The concept of winning and losing will not be in the understanding of these individuals who (in their lifetime) consistently received “participation trophies”. They would not have the concept of working hard to understand what it means to ‘work hard’ and have such ‘work ethic’ to put in the effort to attain such goal. Furthermore, they won’t understand the concept of losing – which usually – drives the individual to put more effort and push more to be that winner.

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