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The participation trophy generation

 
 
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 09:06 am
I came across this bit of commentary this morning and thought it was interesting. While I don't agree with everything he says I think he makes some good points: that competition has become meaningless and jealousy has taken the day.

I think dissatisfaction against the status quo is really just a part of growing up and that this "participation trophy" generation doesn't have a lock feeling left out of the loop.

I'm curious as to what you think about it:

 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 09:42 am
I was just thinking about this in light of the recent SAT cheating scandal.

It would be easy to look at this and wring one's hands over these teenagers who think they should get into ivy league schools without putting in any effort.

But then you realize it was most likely their 40 something parents that paid for the substitute test taker. Most kids don't have a couple of thousand dollars laying around.

So which generation is really the problem?
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edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 10:02 am
Envy? People see their future slipping away and that's all he has to say about it? Admittedly, I did not watch the whole thing. Maybe I missed something. Once he started calling everybody assholes, I lost interest.
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edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 10:37 am
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 11:02 am
That's why I made of point of saying I didn't agree with everything he says.

I read something the other day where a person wrote something like "We were all told that if we didn't go to college that we'd end up flipping burgers. So we went to college and now we're paying off our loans by flipping burgers."

I don't blame people for being pissed at our ruined economy.

But from a lot of the things I read there does seem to be an expectation of starting at the top. People don't generally work their way up through a company anymore. I'm not sure it's even possible.

I think success is measured very differently today and I do think that inspires some jealousy. The "got to keep up with the Jones" idea isn't anything new but I think that it's really gone to extremes.
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djjd62
 
  4  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 11:19 am
one of the podcasts i listen to is a satellite radio show, they are very big on bringing the behind the scene stuff out in the open, one day they heard from an intern that another intern was upset about the reaction he'd gotten to some work he'd done, the kid was about 20 and this was his first actual "job"

he was shocked when his supervisor told him apiece of audio he'd prepared was unacceptable and couldn't be used, he more or less stated he'd never been told anything he'd ever done was completely unacceptable, that everything had some merit

other interns they've had have quit within days saying the felt to pressured by the schedules or felt bullied when ideas they had or work they'd done was deemed not good enough
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DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 11:37 am
@boomerang,
We hear this every few years, that the upcoming generation doesn't have a work ethic. That they're unqualified. That they expect to have everything handed to them.

Setanta has a quote of Socrates or someone saying the same thing.

Are there people who feel entitled? Sure. There are always people who feel entitled. But it's not an entire generation.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 11:38 am
@DrewDad,
And all of this from a guy who made his reputation telling fart jokes.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Dec, 2011 12:32 pm
@DrewDad,
And GWBush felt entitled to go to Yale.

This isn't new. It's only become an issue because those that felt entitled in the past are upset that other people might feel entitled.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Dec, 2011 07:29 pm
@boomerang,
You want my honest opinion, boomerang? Smile
I'd like to know what this guy's really so angry about ... that was the most unfocused, mixed-up angry rant I've heard for a long time. What exactly is he trying to say? Confused

... That if someone works just as hard as "Mr Jenkins" that he might be rich & driving a Rolls Royce, too? What if today's Mr Jenkins inherited his wealth, a fortunate accident of the family he was born into, what if "Mr Jenkins" is an obscenely over-paid CEO, whose company's fortunes have gone down the gurgler while his income has sky-rocketed. Lots of those around.
There is no guarantee at all that if you do "work hard" that you will be successful ... there is no guarantee that if you work hard in these tough times that you you'll even hang onto your job, anyway, as your company "downsizes".

So Islamist terrorists (not that I have any more respect for them than I have for him) are motivated by "envy & shame" because following their god didn't provide them the wealth that Americans enjoy? Hasn't he heard of Iraq & Afghanistan & the rest? Apart from that, which Americans are so well off in 2011? Quite a few of them aren't. Quite a few of them, through no fault of their own. Quite a few desperately want work & can't get get it. Quite a few work two, three, or more jobs to make ends meet.

I can't figure out, exactly, with his rant has to do with OWS. He doesn't explain that at all. All we learn from him are his biases. He grew up in the 1970s when there was plenty of work around, plenty of opportunities for people to better themselves if they were motivated to ..... He has absolutely no idea how different things are for young people now. Hasn't he heard of the recession?

I'm going to stop here because I'm ranting almost as much as he did. Wink
To me, that was a typical "blame the victims" rant, if times are tough "they only have themselves to blame". And if people experiencing the worst of these tough times object to the economic predicament they had no part in creating, well then, they're just jealous!

I can't stand this guy. He's an ignorant, opinionated buffoon.
Ugh.

-
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 10:56 am
@msolga,
I agree msloga but then I had to stop and ask myself what I might say to a kid who admired a fancy car. And I'd probably say something like "If you work hard you could maybe have a car like that someday" (but I'd probably add that I hope their smarter than to spend all their money on a car).

I don't think this guy took into account that the middle class in America is dwindling and that is breeding class warfare. I think there is a lot of resentment.... but a lot of it is well founded.

Anyway.... "Mr. Jenkins" and his ilk seem to be the new talking point: http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201112020036#.TtzXP2q9WFM.facebook
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 10:57 am
@parados,
Yep. That's what I meant about that feeling like this is just part of growing up.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 11:08 am
@DrewDad,
Yes.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 11:22 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
To me, that was a typical "blame the victims" rant, if times are tough "they only have themselves to blame".

<snip>

I can't stand this guy. He's an ignorant, opinionated buffoon.
Ugh.

-


I think he's blaming 'our' generation/s (roughly 35 - 60) for giving children unrealistic expectations - for praising them for showing up to events (the participation trophy), not requiring them to try hard at school, parents completing projects for students, parents pushing teachers to give them better marks for the projects their children have turned it (this one really makes me nuts - I've heard it from parents and teachers).

I've been in a couple of workplaces now where I've seen the interesting side effects of the you- are-fabulous parenting approach. In one case, a young supervisor had her mother come to the office to attempt to speak to our vice president after she (the young supervisor) did not receive an exceptional result in her performance review. It was her first experience of someone telling her that what she'd done wasn't fantastic.

djjd provided another example earlier in the thread. Definitely unpleasant to work with folks with this level of expectation, and REALLY easy to dislike their parents.

I don't think that everyone uses the fabulous fabulous approach, and not all children believe it when the parents do go that route, but it does seem more common now. I don't want to go all "spare the rod, spoil the child", but I think there's a good middle ground.

I think you're underestimating Adam Carolla. We've certainly had enough threads/comments here at A2K about the issue of the participation trophy.




(funnily? we've had the participation trophy come up here at work - big team-building event coming up - most of the organizers think everyone should get a reward of some type for participating v a few who think the trophies should only be for the winners of the events)
msolga
 
  0  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 10:19 pm
@ehBeth,
Well that's part of what he said, but he said so much more as an extension of that notion, which was utterly ridiculous & far fetched, in my opinion.

I do know what you mean about praise-never-blame parenting & education.
I prefer for young people to have more honest/realist feedback, myself.

But, you know, it's sometimes amazing to see how young people who have been brought up in this way adapt to the real world, when they have to. For instance, I've seen year 10 students return to school after two week's work experience (with a real employer) well & truly get the message that the workplace is not some cakewalk which owes them something for nothing.
I also see lots of students virtually run many businesses, like KFC or McDonalds & others (their part-time jobs while studying), & do so very responsibly with very few adults around to supervise them.

Quote:
I think you're underestimating Adam Carolla.

I don't think so.
The ideas he was attempting to espouse could have been expressed far more intelligently, with less hysterical ranting & without such silly generalizations.
He sounded nuts to me.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 10:47 pm
@DrewDad,
Yes, indeed.
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