For some reason, the fact of Elementary school "track and field" days came to mind the other day.
These were days I hated. I've never been naturally gifted in the realm of athletics. I have extremely weak ankles. If I do not put 100% of my mental energy into the motions of walking/running/throwing, I step wrong, my ankle rolls, and I fall flat-out. Or my aim is off and anyone in the path of a projectile needs to duck. NOW! I'm something of a klutz. I trip over my own two feet on a fairly regular basis. It's humiliating.
It was not, however, the humiliation of being a total klutz that got me thinking about those days. Because it was not the events that came to mind.
It was the ribbons.
Oh, yes. For what track and field day would be complete without cardstock certificates and cheap nylon ribbons?
Blue for the first place winners.
Red for the second.
White for third.
Yellow for fourth.
And purple for "particpants."
Everybody gets a purple ribbon. Show up and run, no matter where you place, you get a purple ribbon.
I got a lot of purple ribbons. And not much of any other color.
For the record, however, I am not a purple ribbon.
I'm a blue ribbon. I'm the first place prize.
And if you're not running to win me, you needn't bother showing up at all.