When I was younger I remembered show and tell. I never had anything to show, and I rarely had anything to tell. But my class-mates always had some nice little thing, and it didn't bother me. I was always a clumsy and absent minded kid (As I am a clumsy and absent minded 'adult') so all of my cool toys were broken or last.
When you go to a friend’s house for the first time, what is it like? You get a tour and the opportunity to see their big TV, what ever collectibles they might have, and the furniture of their house. But is the purpose of this little tour for you to see neet things and be enlightened, or does your friend merely want you to tell them how cool they are for having nice things?
Here's a fun game. Give them 0 praise on their nice things. See how hard they will try just to get your praise.
How about this, Do you own something on display in your house? How many hours of solitary entertainment has that given you? Do you just sit in a chair and stare at your display case for hours?
And then of course there's Accolades.
Dictionary.com defines Accolade as "any award, honor, or laudatory notice". In the ceremony of knighting someone, a blade is placed on their shoulder by its flat end. This act was called an Accolade. It has come to mean a reward or public notice of approval. An Accolade is not something given in private between two people. It is a public display. A trophy, A news Article, Gamer Score, High Score list, and so on.
So why do we need to have nice things to show our friends, and why do we need accolades to represent our strengths. I have no fucking clue, but that's never stopped me from blindly speculating before.
I'd have to say the answers are two fold.
1) People lie. Any douche-bag with gages and tattoos can walk up to a girl and say he's in a great band. (I don't know why he had to have gages and tattoos for this analogy, I also don't know why you need to keep judging my analogies. But I digress.) You can't trust what people say, so we've come to require some physical representation of their success.
2) People are rarely secure in their own personality. Most people are secure in their abilities to do things. But people are rarely as secure in their ability to entertain other people. Everyone has a friend who feels the need to bring a 6-pack to every gathering, or provide food and drink for everyone. Maybe that friend is just a very nice guy, and maybe I'm secretly a midget wearing stilts and arm extensions. Does that friend every tell an interesting story, or provide input on a debate?
This is a sort of Catch 22. Little Jessica at age 6 walks around a party and everyone says to her "Oh look how cute you are" and compliments her appearance. As Jessica grows up, she gets more compliments on her appearance. She starts to get fat. No one ever told her how smart or witty, or charming she was. So She sees that all she has is her appearance, and it drivers her insane. This disorder is commonly diagnosed as: Being a Vapid slut. Young children are still trying to figure out what is 'right' and 'wrong'. What do you think is going to happen when you praise them on their physical appearance? People look to others to understand themselves, especially children. Show and Tell sounds to me like a contest of who has the nicer stuff.
Just so you know, any time I ever refer to a douche-bag he will have gages and tattoos. But that is for another day.