Awards, Achievements & Actions to Help Others – No One Cares

Winning a track race

My oldest son found a music box my dad had given me when I was very young, tucked away and honestly forgotten in a safe place, in the same beautiful condition it always has been in, and packed to brim with award ribbons and medals of achievements.  I went for many years, to a Christian school who would give out award ribbons for sports activities, art competitions, and even (in Elementary years) ribbons for having good qualities like a positive or encouraging attitude.  As a result, I accumulated many ribbons while at this school – some not so deserving of an award in my opinion, and some that I know I earned through either talent (painting or writing children’s stories) or hard work (medals for hurdling).

My son is fascinated (or maybe a little obsessed?) with this box.  Ever since he found that it even existed a few months ago, he has enjoyed taking it out, laying out all the color ribbons, holding up the heavy medals and inspecting the designs on them that represent track and field or musical instruments.

My parents were wonderful growing up, they were very attune to things I was naturally good at, or inclined to succeed in, and therefore they encouraged me to go in those directions.  They also curiously encouraged me to go in directions that challenged my nature and innate talents, which in the end, has made life so much more interesting and fulfilling to me rather than had I only stayed in my comfort zone of doing well at things that came too easily.  They are both musically, artistically, and intellectually fascinating people, and I do not for one minute discount or seek to take for granted the beauty of life they aspired me to enjoy living.  But seeing my son handle my past (and forgotten) awards and medals with such longing and fascination has made me realize something: No One Cares.

This is not me trying to diminish achievements, but to intentionally point out how hollow many achievements in life truly are.  No one cares that I may have a box tucked away with now decade old awards and past achievements; people might have mild (polite) interest if I were to display them in some kind of showy case, but when it comes down to it, no one really cares about things like that.

Awards & Achievements, while they may boost our own confidence and add greatly to our own life experience, and while our children or grandchildren might greatly appreciate them/admire them, to onlookers or friends in our lives, they take a very back seat place in the trunk of the car that is driving and traveling our life.

My son’s first academic medal

Our oldest son is very athletic.  He was doing crunches with his dad and yoga with me when he was only 2 years old.

This last summer, we decided to let him play soccer on a team that would have practices and games every week.  We are, hands down, probably biased parents, but it was amazing watching his ability come alive on the field, with his teammates, and his raw success

He was so determined and yet had such a great attitude of teamwork and humility.  A natural leader, he was not afraid at all to make the scores, to encourage and even hug his teammates if they didn’t do as well.  A grandfather of another player pulled him aside after one of his games and told him to his face that he was the star on the team.  How does a 4 year old handle that kind of achievement?

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He is the fierce looking one second from the right.

We live in a day and age where every child gets a medal if their parents sign them up.  Every child on my son’s team, whether they were at practice (or games) or not, received a medal of achievement.  While I didn’t at all want to make my son arrogant, I wanted him to explicitly know that he actually earned his medal through his dedicated hard work (and yes, even at 4 he was dedicated and played his little heart out on the field).  We watched one game where he was called upon to play for more than his share because the other kids were either throwing a tantrum or absent that day.  We watched him curl up and relax in a little hole in the ground beside the field, sweating profusely & trying to get relief, only to be asked to come back in and play because his substitute was having a tantrum, and our son, with his amazing attitude and genuine love for the sport, got up, and went back in to do soccer battle.

He undoubtedly, hands down, earned that medal.  And he is rightfully proud of it and knows it’s worth all the more because of his dedication to achieving it.

This sounds like a depressing post from the title, however, that is not at all the way I’m intending it to be.  How can I help my son understand that these medals, any achievements in life really, even though they might have been acquired through the beauty of hard work and dedication paired with raw talent, are ultimately meaningless and forgotten or unappreciated?  Unless they are paired with having also lived a life of integrity, they are only slightly (sometimes greatly) admired at best, or can lead to arrogance and pride at the worst.

How can I help him understand that even if he achieves great feats in science, literature, or medicine, and consequently ends up helping millions of people, he will still face those who will refuse his help, misunderstand him, or may end up completely forgotten in time?

It might be a harsh lesson, but a critical one to living a full, well-lived life.  Our awards, achievements, even our earnest efforts to help others are only great in that they add meaning to ours and other’s lives; they are only fulfilling when we ourselves are built on foundations of principle and morals.

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Oscars

The dresses, the sleek, toned bodies of the stars, the hair styles, the makeup, the music, the intriguing production that goes into making films, seeing the people – no the masterminds – behind the scenes… this. is. the Oscars.

Last year we did a little “Oscars party,” but this year was more subdued, toned down, and cozy.  I watched it with my dad while my my mom – who mostly only cares to catch the fashion at the beginning like all of us girls – played games with my older son.  It’s always epic in its strange way, with jokes, surprises, and even tear-jerking musical interludes.  My dad loves J.K. Simmons, and was glad to see him win an Oscar for his role in Whiplash; his speech thanking his wife & telling the audience to call their parents was touching. ❤

oscars-2015_445371Oh the dresses & the beautiful women.  Margo Robbie, as always, looked top notch & drop dead gorgeous.  I loved seeing Julian Moore and her beautiful, beaded dress – she always surprises with something unique and elegant.  Emma Stone came with her Mom (so cute), and Gwyneth Paltrow actually wore pink (a color she’s sworn she didn’t care for & collected in order to pass down to her daughter).

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Eddie Redmayne won for his incredibly well-played role in The Theory of Everything – such a beautiful & tragic movie about one of the most influential men of our age, Stephen Hawking.

Julian Moore won Best Actress for her performance in Still Alice.

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In between one of the breaks, my dad told me a story about a time when he and his best guy friend (now RIP) were out hunting.  Sitting together on the couch with the new baby asleep on my chest, listening to him talk just felt so sweet.

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It was great to see the Polish film, Ida, win for the Foreign Film Language selection.  It’s a movie about a young girl, who is set to become a Catholic nun, but finds out her family history is not what she thought (they were jews).  Being of Polish-Jewish descent, this film held a special place in my heart.  A quote from the writer-director, Pawel Pawlikowski, in heavy Polish accent,

“How did I get here?  We made a film about black-and-white, the need for silence and withdrawal from the world and contemplation. And here we are at the center of noise and world attention. Fantastic. Life is full of surprises.”

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For a quick link to see the rest of the winners click here.

Inspiration

This past Wednesday was my 6 month anniversary of blogging daily during the week… it has been a great creative outlet, and what started as a way to get my thoughts in order myself on topics like these, has turned into something very different.  I started it as purely just a way to get thoughts out – not as a way to give advice on anything – but as a resource to myself, to remind myself of these truths & realities in life.

The mass majority of people who blog seem to say that it’s near impossible to blog daily – how do you keep up with inspiration?  Wouldn’t it feel forced or inauthentic?  For me, inspiration comes all the time, anywhere I am… so I literally have to carry a journal with me at all times in order to capture the thought for later use in a post.

If I didn’t create posts about these ideas in my head, it’d be a waste of creativity,

a waste of this inspiration that comes to me.

It came to me for a reason, and creativity never used

is a sad existence.

I wanted to let you Readers into my dashboard so to speak, for a blog that started out as my own journal, it’s definitely come a very long way.

Number of Followers:  263 Followers

Number of Posts:  171 Posts

Number of Comments:  423 Comments

Number of Site Views:  4,585 Views

Awards awarded from other WordPress Bloggers/Readers: 4,  The Sunshine Award, The Liebster Award for up-and-coming bloggers, The Shauny Award for Blogging Excellence, and The Howler Award

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I love this one

 

A few comments I’ve loved from readers:

“I really appreciate this article! Although I am only 20, I got out of a 4 year relationship 1 year ago. But, the growth I have experienced being single is TREMENDOUS. It was like becoming single was the catalyst I needed to ignite my pursuit of my dreams and passions and development as a woman. I completely agree the single life is not the time to wait around. It’s the perfect time to be selfish and seize every opportunity.”  Posted on Single Women… Be Radiant & Happy

 

“Thanks for your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.  I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back someday. I want to encourage you continue your great work, have a nice evening!”  Posted on an Inspiration post

 

“I’ve seen many ‘nice’ men. And too many con-men. Actually, I’ve seen the whole range (and their women). I remember Errol Flynn’s advice to young men—

“Treat a duchess like a whore … and a whore like a duchess”

—and sometimes he was right. Some of the con-men types followed the ‘four-F’ formula to the very letter (don’t ask) and left trails of broken hearts. I never could … was I too ‘nice’? I’d rather go without than make (or imply) false promises, I even now wear my heart on my sleeve and as best I can keep my word.
I think I can let ol’ Willie Shakespeare sum it up—

This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

—and for any feminists out there: that final ‘man’ embraces all women too …”  Posted on Single: Women Don’t Want Nice Men

 

“I would like to say I love your blog and the wonderful and beautiful things you share as well as the inspiration and smiles you bring in doing so! Thank you for being you and I hope even if you do not accept awards you will accept the sentiment expressed as I honor you with one. There is no prize that comes with the award other than my appreciation and being grateful you are part of our world and making a difference by sharing in such a positive way…
I have posted the award and link to it here I hope you will accept it or at least the sentiment behind it!

With love,
Joe”  Posted on Spiritual Growth

 

““”Taking care of your appearance, exercising and making sure you look your best as a woman is not selfish, in fact, if you’re married, it’s selfish not to.””

This is so important. How many women complain that their husband swivels his head 360 to check out the hottie? How many of those women have let themselves get fat? Sure, everyone ages. But getting older does not automatically come with extra pounds.

I wonder how many of the wives that say “he should love me for who I am” would tolerate a husband who decided that going to work was just too hard. She should love me for who I am. Why do I have to earn a living and pay the bills?

I would add men’s porn use to this discussion. How many wives have decided that they just can’t be bothered to have sex w/ their hubs, but will complain that he uses porn?

You have a very solid understanding of what men care about. I predict a long mariage for you.”  Posted on Men Need an Attractive Wife

 

“And your focus was well timed for me. This is what I’m cultivating in my life, knowing and expressing my true feminine qualities. I’d miss-learned and misapplied and arrived at a moment in my life with a fine mess, but I’m learning and realizing it was never something I didn’t know, it was just buried.

Your words give my faith something tangible which gives me greater faith.”  Posted on The Incredible Power Women Have Over Men

 

“Well timed post. Had a frustrating conversation with a friend yesterday. I knew I was being a bit of an ass, as was he, and though I endeavor not to be, it’s clear I’m still a work in progress.

I was tired and frustrated with myself, but woke with my good intentions.

And then you posted this and I got to read it, served it up with my morning coffee, and I can now have it as clear intentions for the day. This makes my work of being a better person is easier.”  Posted on How Do You Speak in Truth w/o Provoking People?

 

So if you’re thinking about blogging just for fun, be prepared… you might get in to something that sort of takes it’s own flight. 

Creativity expressed has a way of touching people… you never know who will be reading your words or how they will affect them in their own personal journey.

Happy Reading & remember to use your creativity!!!