Sinek rattles off a bunch of generalizations about how millennials were constantly told they were special when growing up, as opposed to all those other generations who were told they were useless pieces of shit. He also says that millennials got into honors classes and got top grades not by earning them, but because their parents complained to teachers. Wait, was that an option? Weird, when I got bad grades, my parents just told me to study more. If any of my peers' parents were yelling at the school to make their kids look smarter, I certainly wasn't aware of it. My experience was hardly universal, but anecdotes from chain emails complaining about kids these days that your grandma sends aren't universal either, and that didn't stop Sinek from citing them like gospel. And he certainly can't cite legal precedent, as states like California have an education code which states, "[T]he determination of the pupil's grade by the teacher, in the absence of clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final." There's no clause that makes an exception for "really, really pissy parents."
Sinek then sets his righteous crosshairs on participation medals. "They got a medal for coming in last," he says, raising his eyebrow like we should all find this equally hilarious and appalling. Sinek says "the science is pretty clear" that this awful act devalues hard work while embarrassing the people who came in last. Weird, it took me five seconds to find science that says the exact opposite -- that rewarding effort encourages kids to keep trying, and helps them see the value of hard work. Huh, maybe the science isn't so clear. And maybe, just maybe, giving a kid a plastic knickknack when they're eight doesn't forever shape their psyche.
I'm starting to think that the show you were on needs a new, less ironic name.
Simon -- can I call you Simon? I'm going to go ahead and call you Simon, since you seem to be on such familiar terms with me and my generation. Simon, let me tell you about my participation trophies. I got them for playing soccer, and they were handed out from a bag at the end of the year with all the ceremony of communist factory workers getting their lunch rations. My response was not "Well, clearly I'm going to be handed a six-figure job as an adult." It was "Neat, a trophy! Now I'm going to go back to thinking about Pokemon or farts, because I am a child." Later it was a nice reminder of time spent playing with my friends, and as I got older, eventually only the teams that won were rewarded. This did not shock and sadden us -- it was what we expected, and wanted, because we were actually capable of observing adult society, and we noticed that pro sports teams weren't handed many trophies for constantly losing.