Recognition And Rewards — By John Reed

Recognition and rewards
Is it possible to compliment someone without insulting another? By extension, is it possible to recognize the achievements of one group of people without sounding biased against others?
These days it seems that if you single out one person or group for excellence, you are obligated to say something nice about everybody else lest you be considered racist or otherwise prejudiced.
There used to be a program in school called “Every Child a Winner.“ The idea was to play games without keeping score so that no child would suffer the stigma of losing. Of course, that was idiocy because without a loser you can’t have a winner. It’s a binary solution that seems to be hardwired into our genes.
This was the same philosophy that forbade teachers from marking mistakes in red ink because it would traumatize the poor child who made the errors. Apparently it was better for the child to feel good about himself then to actually learn something.
All of that above to say this: I spent last weekend with two of our brightest and most talented students at an honors weekend at Troy University. They both have bright futures ahead of them, yet will probably get very little recognition here.
Let me be very clear: I was an athlete in school, and I believe very strongly that our sports programs have a place in our school and community. But student athletes are not the only ones who should get recognition when they get scholarships or other honors for their efforts.
When did we last see a news article or photo about a student getting an academic or music scholarship? Our coaches and school administration do a very good job of making it known when one of our athletes lands at a college. I don’t think it would take anything away from them to recognize non-athletes when they excel as well.
Regular readers will know that I very rarely mention specific names here. We have other writers here who do a great job keeping up with names and times and places. I got a very terse phone call last week from someone who took umbrage at a previous column, despite me never mentioning his name, just the situation he and others were involved in.
That said, I hope all of our student achievers will receive the recognition they deserve.

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