Striving for Dusty TrophiesI hear parents of young people complain that lately in childhood sports, everyone gets a trophy just for participating. And recently, a youth football team was fined $500 because a defensive player caught an interception and ran it in for a touchdown, violating a rule for scoring when his team already had too many points. I imagine that rule was not very well thought out. Should the kids have just stopped playing? What are the contingencies for the rule when the defense rather than the offense scores the additional points beyond the set rule? Should the game have been called, or perhaps the overall scoring of football should be changed to allow the first team to a dozen or so points to be the winner? Personally, I think perhaps the team should lawyer up and those poor kids should learn the intricacies of when to score and when to sit down according to the rule, in addition to their entire playbook and physical conditioning schedule. Silly kids. They act like it’s all a game.

Okay, let’s be serious for a moment: They made a scoring rule????

Yesterday I saw a Facebook post imploring people to be nice to trick-or-treating children this Halloween who take too much time to choose a candy, take too many pieces of candy, frown at the candy bowl, or simply refuse to say thank you. In each scenario, the child had a motor skill/allergy/ADD/speech impediment situation going on. I suppose I’m old, but I remember when kids didn’t come with an instruction manual, and when adults applied patience and encouragement over categories, and yes, I’m going to say it, excuses.

Lately it seems we’ve leveled the playing field so much that there are no mountains to climb anymore. Yes, everyone has different abilities. Yes, we all have weaknesses. Most of us, at one time or another, feel good about one and lousy about the other. But in this journey called life we can learn to handle the differences, turn negatives into positives, make lemonade from lemons. That can mean taking a good, hard, look at the truth, and going for it anyway. There has to be some personal incentive for striving and accomplishments should mean something.

At some point, every day, I remind myself that I’m only as good as my last post. Sometimes that makes me a genius–which is hard to follow. Other times, thankfully, that makes me human. But then I always correct myself and think, “I’m only as good as my next post.”

Strive and let strive.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at