I was once invited to help judge a speech competition in a Christian school several years ago. I was excited for the opportunity until we received the judging instructions. We were told that no child should receive a low score; that all the children were “winners” just because they showed up. In the end, every single participant took home winning ribbons.
Well, I’m sorry to be so blunt, but that is NOT a competition. In a competition, someone wins and everyone else doesn’t. Second place is just the first loser.
That overly sensitive, “everyone is a winner” mindset has permeated our society to the point that “competition” has become a dirty word. Schools have prohibited games like Red Rover and Dodge Ball. In one school, the game of Tag was prohibited because some bleeding-heart teacher thought a child’s self-esteem might suffer if he has to be “It.”
My daughter became aware of that “no losers” attitude when she was a new elementary school teacher. She told me that her students played with the tetherballs every day, but they had never actually played the game; they had no idea that Tetherball was a game of competition with rules and that there would be a winner and a loser. She had to teach them the game.
Some of you may remember when, several years ago, the National Little League Association ruled to prohibit score-keeping in league games with their youngest players. With all their politically correct psycho-drivel, they reasoned that the game should be played for fun, exercise, physical development, and encouragement, but NOT for the competition. So they mandated that there would be no winners because that would mean there would be losers and the losers might feel bad.
But what they didn’t anticipate and couldn’t stop was the players keeping their own scores. The kids knew who the real winners and the losers were.
So, here we are today, in a world where young people are conditioned to believe that everyone is a winner and there are no losers. They expect total equality (or “equity”) regardless of merit, effort, skill, or ability.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”
Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. So run in such a way that you will win. I Cor. 9:24
...Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3