Every kid wins trophies.
There are two possible takeaways from this fact:
a) Trophies don’t mean much; or
b) Every kid deserves trophies.
If a), then the result is that external recognition must be useless. Which means:
1) We reward mediocrity.
2) We foster cynicism to greatness.
If b), then the result is that external recognition must be unrelenting. Which means:
3) We reward everything.
4) We foster entitlement to greatness.
I have rarely seen folks as entitled as those in the performing arts today, at least here in Seattle, the epicenter of externally-based self-esteem. I’ve known dozens of actors who have insisted that they’re too talented to audition. Dozens more of nonprofit arts organizations feeling too holy to follow a mission.
Consider: Oscar Isaac had to audition for the role of Llewyn Davis. It wasn’t handed to him.