I got into the car one morning and looked inside my center console to find my three year old’s soccer trophy.
I found it interesting that he had left it there because just the day prior the trophies were handed out to my sons at the last soccer game of the season by the coach, (also their dad). The 5 year old had waited the entire season for the trophy. His best friend, another 5 year old on the team had been talking about the trophy he’d receive for days. All of the boys badly longed for that gold trophy and could not wait to receive it!
In the world we live in, we continually strive for the trophies of reward that signify each achievement and decade. One year it is a new car trophy, the next a new job, a new achievement, the latest technology, laptop, gadget, grill, fill in the blank. We all know friends, loved ones, or acquaintances that constantly push their kids for trophies and achievement. “It all starts with that gold star,” a friend noted, “In kindergarten.” Competition and achievement are wired into us at an early age.
Our trophies are material and our trophies are immaterial. Most of the time we take it for granted that in other countries where people are hungering for a meal, that in ours, we have access to any kind of trophy that we want. Trophies represent achievement, sure. But what if we didn’t have to achieve anything at all to be happy, and what if we didn’t need some material representation of a reward?
The trophy was so important to the five year old that he carried it gingerly inside the house and placed it in the living room for all to see. Anyone who walked in was told about the trophy and how he had earned it.
When I go into the car and saw my 3 year old’s trophy lying there among the old scraps of paper, a pen, and some change I smiled.
In a world where trophies matter, it was nice to know someone who just didn’t care.
Tammy Kling is the author of the best selling book The Compass, recently featured on Oprah radio. She is a life coach who works with others helping them achieve their dreams of writing a book, and an advocate for the homeless. Visit her blog at www.escapesuburbia.wordpress.com.