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Notable Trophies with Large Ideas

Updated on April 6, 2013

Not all awards are created equal

There are so many awards and prize giving ceremonies these days that it seems that everyone is a winner. However, there are minor prizes and those that really stand out as a major award to an outstanding individual or organization. Here are some of my picks of the most significant trophies that are awarded today.

These awards represent large causes that bring us together, and bond us as one large family. They serve recognize people that inspires hope, show us how to dream big dreams and bring us towards a brave new future.

The Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel prizes are world reknown and require no introduction. Alongside the other 3 awards for chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, the peace prize represents one of the highest ideals of civilization.

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

Even though there has been controversy with awards going to Barack Obama and the European Union for example, it does not distract from the importance of the intention. Personally, I think that world peace is not achievable. There are too many different agendas between nations ranging from economic to territorial. War is ongoing at some corner of the globe even as I type. However, even though the ideal of peace between nations may never materialize, it does not mean that we should give up striving, for giving up would mean that we have stopped caring. And that is a scary place to be.

The Olympics Medal

For a short window every 4 years, we all come together to witness the Olympic games. With the advent of technology, it has truly become a global event witness by billions. So why do the Olympics even matter?

The Olympic medals, above all, stand for how we as a species strive to push the limits of our physical capabilities. Strip away the technology and gadgets that we attach to ourselves, how far can we go with our physical selves.

As with all sporting events, the Olympics have been politicized to become a race between competing nations for the highest overall gold tally. But every once in a while, athletes will catch the headlines of how they have overcome insurmountable odds to clinch the highest trophy accolade in sports. I enjoy reading about the sacrifices athletes make just to compete in the Olympics. Of the long training hours away from loved ones and friends. To overcome prejudices, economic constraints and even war to even make it an compete. To me, an Olympic medal rewards all of these sacrifices, and salutes their commitment to their sport.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize

More than ever, with our burgeoning population, the stresses on our environment has never been larger. We consume more energy, pollute our water sources and deplete our natural resources. Of all of human activities, the built environment and it's associated activities like transport contribute a large percentage to this problem. Never at any one time in human history has urbanization happened on such a large scale and so quickly.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is the highest accolade that can be awarded to an Architect. As master designers of the build environment, they have a responsibility to ensure that our cities, towns and buildings thread responsibly while they give built form to our current day and age.

This trophy recognizes the achievements of these master builders and rightly so, for a poorly designed building with scar the landscape for decades, and badly designed cities would damage the environment for centuries.

The FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is another crazy sporting event that literally drives people mad. Every 4 years (thankfully spaced 2 years apart from the Olympics), countries literally stop in their tracks to watch their team play.

From Brazil to Spain to Africa, the hopes of millions are pinned and fixated on the 11 players on the pitch. True soccer has never been big in USA, with the mainstay of basketball, baseball and football, however things are also changing with the MLS. Soccer is slowly catching on in the US and interest in the FIFA World Cup as an event can only grow.

There is no better moment to display us as large social group with a common cause. The FIFA World Cup is not simply a golden trophy, but it represents the hope and dreams of nations. The trophy transcend language and culture to represent our solidarity with each other as a species.

Beyond winning

Trophies are not just for winning. They are awarded to represent the best in every field or an activity, however small. Trophies say "We acknowledge your efforts and we remember." The number of awards discussed are not exhaustive, however they represent some of the large ideals that we should strive towards together.

Some other areas of endeavor like medicine, social work, eradicating poverty and disease are also important ideals.

How many other trophies and awards can you think of that represent such causes?


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      festojames 4 years ago

      the world cup is made of pure gold. something to drive people wild really.