Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

The T-Ball Generation

In the old days, not everyone made the team.  Some got cut.

Not everyone on the team played equal time.  Some were stars, some starters, and some were bench warmers.

Not every team got a trophy.  Only the team that won the championship got a trophy.

Not everyone in the race got a ribbon.  Someone was in first place, someone was in second, and so on.  Someone came in last.

Consequently, trophies and ribbons and making the team meant something.  Those were earned accomplishments so the athletes who earned those accomplishments were duly proud of them.

It must be confusing for a kid to come in last and get a ribbon.  It must be frustrating to play a game where no one keeps score.

When the T-ballers who never struck out grow up, they might still expect a ribbon regardless of their performances.

I have a friend who is a lawyer.  He hired a young associate.  She was doing fine but needed to improve in some tasks.  My friend is probably the most socially adept person I know.  He is kind.  He is a good husband and father.  He has been successful in politics and law.  Armed with his psychological and leadership skills, he took the associate attorney to lunch.  He praised her for her work, yet he also pointed out what he would like her to improve on.

After they returned from lunch, the young associate went to the restroom and stayed for a long time.  Another female employee noted her lengthy absence and found the associate crying there and asked what is the matter.  The associate told her that she had never been so humiliated in her entire  life (to that point) and that she was going to quit.  And she did quit, to the surprise of her kind employer.

He compared notes with a senior attorney in another law firm, who had similar experiences.  That lawyer told my friend, “We call that the T-ball generation.”

Maybe if the quitter/crier had some disappointments in her youth, she would be more prepared for the real world, where not everyone gets a trophy.

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2 thoughts on “The T-Ball Generation

  1. You’re right on the money!

    • Thanks, Mary. Do you believe that the government should provide trophies for all? Isn’t it unfair that the parents of each team have to pay for the uniforms and trophies? Perhaps there will be legislation for the establishment of a National Department of Self-Esteem with another cabinet post.

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