On "Participation Trophies"
My stepdaughter is in her mid-twenties. She never got a "participation trophy." When she was a kid, she didn't really fit in -- oh boy, do I have stories. Turns out, gay kids had it rough.
My oldest son graduates high school this year. Honors in math and engineering. Was nearly driven to suicide his first year in our very nice local high school because he is who he is, geeky and gentle; he got into an alternative school and blossomed, and if you see him and his nerd girlfriend together now your heart will just melt from the cute. He never got a "trophy."
The "participation trophy" lie is all about "bring the pain to the weird kids."