50 or 100 Words

Prick the Entitlement Bubble

Jonica Bradley
Mar 1 · 6 min read

Thrifty Words 100 and 50 Challenges #6 and #27: Entitlement

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

I have a problem with “everybody is a winner” and “everybody gets a prize.

I believe it creates a false sense of accomplishment and breeds entitled little pricks who grow up to be entitled big pricks.

Healthy competition is, well, healthy. But healthy competition has a winner and a loser. Or a winner and a not winner.

My belief is when two or more people compete to reach a certain goal, whether it is a correct proof for a mathematical theory, or a foot race, the best apple pie, or a bid accepted for contract work, the goal is the prize. Most people don’t agree with me, of course. Most people need some extra form of motivation. Money, a ribbon, a trophy. Something.

I understand the origins of everybody gets a prize and everybody is a winner. Or at least I think I do. I imagine it started as a way to avoid bullying and lose shaming. Poor-sport winners are far worse, in my humble opinion than poor sport-losers.

The poor-sport loser walks away upset with themselves. They express it by knocking the chessboard off the table or taking their toys and going home.

The poor-sport winner shames the loser. Says things like, “In your face!” and makes the letter L on their forehead. The poor sport winner will sing-song about a victory regardless of the competition’s efforts or skills.

I am the least competitive person I know. I’m a dropout. A DNF. I will quit rather than risk the discomfort of losing or winning. Both are equally discomforting.

I’ve been loser shamed. I’ve also had expectations placed on my head so big they could squash a horse. If I win once, I’ll be expected to win again.

I am super leery of enmity. I don’t like it. This is partly the reason I am an introvert. If I don’t interact, I can’t generate negativity in others.

It doesn’t make sense, I know. Not everybody has a narcissistic personality. My mother did (does). My mother is both a poor loser and a poor winner. The chessboard example was a real incident I witnessed. She lost and knocked the board off the table. I was, I don’t know. . . younger than ten. That is pretty much when I stopped playing chess. When Mom won, she would lord it over me, a ten-year-old child. When she lost she was pissed.

I lost both ways. And during any game, not just chess. She would pull ahead and “tease” me about being a loser. In Sorry. In Gin Rummy. In Skip-Bo. The only games she (to this day) does not enjoy playing are games at which I excel. Games like Pictionary, Boggle, Scrabble, and Balderdash.

Even with my own children, I taught them not to worry about how many jumps they could jump rope compared to others in their KinderGarten class. Or fourth grade or whatever. I tried to teach them to do something for the sake of the thing itself. Not for the ribbon or the candy or the prize. None of my children suffer from entitlement syndrome.

Maybe because I’m a kick-ass parent or maybe because I got lucky and they won the gene pool lottery. Who knows.

I just know that if you pit people against each other for a prize, eventually everyone will need a prize. Eventually, everyone will deserve a prize. Just for showing up. Just for being born. And deserves quickly turns into entitlement.

This brings us to this week’s Thrifty Words 100 Challenge and Thrifty Words Theme Challenge.

Temporarily, for the near future, I’ll probably combine the two when it is my week to think up and edit the challenges.

This means the Thrifty Words 100 will be every other week and will be combined with the 50 Words Theme Challenge. You choose which you want to write, 50 or 100 words. As long as your words equal either exactly 50 words or exactly 100 words, you’ll get into the roundup. This will continue for as long as I am nursing a crippled baby goat in the house and a frostbitten mama goat in the milk barn (on her left teat — OUCH).

After all, I’m entitled to a break, aren’t I?

As much as I love each and every one of your stories I ask that you please only enter one story per author regardless of which you decide to write, 100 words or 50 words. I’m trying to relieve some of my time constraints, not add to them. Thanks for understanding. Follow me on Twitter to see all the goat cuteness!

100 Words Submission Guidelines

Remember, in order to be considered for the challenge, you need to write exactly 100 words (contractions such as ‘you’ll’ and ‘y’all’ count as one, as do articles ‘a’ and ‘the’ ‘and all 23 auxiliary verbs ‘am’ ‘is’ ‘are’ etc. Hyphenated words count as one word.)

Please use the kicker 100 WORDS and ‘Thrifty Words 100 Challenge #6: Entitlement’ as your subtitle and submit by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, 5 March. All stories submitted by the deadline will be released the following morning at 6 am EST.

A reminder: we will only publish one story per author to the roundup. If you submit more than one story, it is most likely that the first story submitted will be chosen for the roundup. You may submit 100 Word stories outside of the theme challenge anytime. They will be published in the Thrifty Words section but not included in the theme challenge roundup.

50 Words Submission Guidelines

Remember, in order to be considered for the challenge, you need to write exactly fifty words (contractions such as ‘you’ll’ and ‘y’all’ count as one, as do articles ‘a’ and ‘the’ ‘and all 23 auxiliary verbs ‘am’ ‘is’ ‘are’ etc. Hyphenated words count as one word.)

Please use the kicker 50 WORDS and ‘Thrifty Words Challenge #27: Entitlement’ as your subtitle and submit by 12 pm EST / 5 pm GMT on Friday, 19 February. All stories submitted by the deadline will be released the following morning at 6 am EST / 11 am GMT.

A reminder: we will only publish one story per author to the roundup. If you submit more than one story, it is most likely that the first story submitted will be chosen for the roundup. You may submit 50 Word stories outside of the theme challenge anytime. They will be published in the Thrifty Words section but not included in the theme challenge roundup.

If you would like your microstories pushed like inner-city heroin, please leave your social media handles at the bottom of your piece. Feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBadInfluenc7. Follow the editors of Thrifty Words Theme Challenge, Jonica Bradley and Marla Bishop on Twitter here @lynn_jonica and @tulipchickuk.

Jonica is a writer, rancher, painter, and poet. For the past ten years, she has been living and working on a ranch in Texas with her husband, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 goats,12 sheep, 5 chickens, 1 llama, and 2 turkeys. She writes about all of this and her many, varied life experiences. Jonica is a mental health advocate and shares her experiences in the hopes of de-stigmatizing mental and emotional conditions. She does not like the words “mental illness”, “disorder”, and “should” among many others. Jonica is a proud POM-poet and a Very Bad Influence where she sometimes edits stuff.

The Bad Influence

CREATIVITY INCITES CHANGE

Jonica Bradley

Written by

Writer/Painter/Poet/Believes in magic/nature/prays to unicorns/goat expert/bee farmer/mental health advocate/C-PTSD/jonicabradley.wordpress.com

The Bad Influence

We’re a Bad Influence because we INCITE change through inclusion, thought and creativity. We imagine a world where people can think critically, express themselves, and thumb their nose at the status quo, together.

Jonica Bradley

Written by

Writer/Painter/Poet/Believes in magic/nature/prays to unicorns/goat expert/bee farmer/mental health advocate/C-PTSD/jonicabradley.wordpress.com

The Bad Influence

We’re a Bad Influence because we INCITE change through inclusion, thought and creativity. We imagine a world where people can think critically, express themselves, and thumb their nose at the status quo, together.

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