No participation trophies, please!

By Braeden Sorbo

When I was 7, my dad signed me up for soccer. My team sucked. We were absolutely terrible and got last place out of every team. However, after the final game, we went to my coach’s car and he had a box full of trophies. He handed us each an award, declaring it was a reward for our participation. I received mine, broke it in two, and threw it in the garbage. I didn’t earn the trophy – none of my teammates did. Yet here we were, 7 years old, being brainwashed to think we deserved something for nothing.

Most kids my age are entitled socialists, but we all know that. I’m here to give some insight on the entitlement attitude and how to fix it. First, we really need to rethink the word fair and how it is used today. In this country, wouldn’t you say we take freedom for granted? The youth of this country are extraordinarily privileged, even the impoverished youth. America’s poor today live better than our upper class did 50 years ago. Our dilemma is, we are not being taught the cost of the freedoms we enjoy, anymore. Instead, we discuss what’s fair, without truly understanding the meaning of the word.

I play piano. I have been studying for about ten years. Owning a piano, you need it tuned every year or so. Our piano tuner is a very nice Russian man who escaped communism and brought his family here to live out the American Dream. He arrived in this country nearly penniless and built his business. He understands, first-hand, the evils of communism and socialism. His children, however, were raised here in America, and they have become good little socialists.

Schools brainwash children with socialist values, and have been doing so for years. Promise free stuff to ignorant, uneducated people who define fair as “what’s good for me,” and you’ve got a lot of power!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a byproduct of these socialist values. In a recent interview, she said, “if people pay their fair share, if corporations and the ultra-wealthy — if we reverse the tax bill, raise our corporate tax rate to 28 percent … if we do those two things and also close some of those loopholes, that’s $2 trillion right there. That’s two trillion dollars in ten years.”

Hate to break it to ya but “right there” and “ten years” is not the same thing. Her plans will cost close to 40 trillion dollars. She does not realize that high-income taxpayers earned 28% of the total adjusted gross income, yet they payed 55% of the entire US tax burden. Her definition of fair is ‘poverty-for-all.’ People follow Mrs. Cortez because she promises free things. Kids need to understand that nothing is free and that socialism doesn’t work. That’s why I’m here. My goal is to reach the younger audience, the next generation. People like David Hogg have such an impact I think it’s time that somebody my age, who thinks rationally and logically, does the same.

How can we fix our entitlement problem? Well, one way is for parents to take away the superfluous free things. Allow me to tell you a story. There’s this girl from youth group. On her 16th birthday last year her parents bought her a brand-new Volkswagen with all the gadgets. The problem is, even though it’s a nice gesture, she had no financial attachment to the car. Within a month of owning her new toy, she crashed it. An accident she caused. Then her parents paid for all the repairs. She told me all of this, laughing. We cannot afford to do this. It worries me when I see 8 year olds with iPhones. I got my first phone on my 13th birthday because my parents thought I was ready, and I bought it with my own money!

Another way is to change to culture to honor hard work. We need to instill a mindset of “self-reliance” in kids. When parents fail to accomplish this, their kids end up living in their basement at 30. With hard work comes the sense of accomplishment and appreciation. The Wall Street journal did a study on kids and gratitude which found that kids who understand gratitude have better grades, are less likely to get depressed, and behaved more politely toward adults.

To conclude, the entitlement issue in this country can be fixed by a solid work ethic and a reassessment of the word “fair.” I wish everything was free, that nobody suffered, and world peace existed. However, strangely, that’s not the road to happiness. Happiness is achieved when people work hard and create things. If you deprive somebody of the opportunity to work and earn, you rob them of their dignity and self-worth, and that’s not fair.

This is the text of a presentation by Mr. Sorbo at an American Freedom Alliance event in Moorpark on 9-9-18.

Braeden Sorbo is 17, senior, homeschooled, Conejo Valley resident. Looking to join the political sphere whilst attempting to enter the world of hollyweird. 

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One Response to No participation trophies, please!

  1. Carol Miller September 15, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Heard this exceptional young man give this speech at a recent event. He hit the nail on the head. Way to go Braeden!


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