Friday, 4 November 2016
November 4, 2016 Chautauqua
In the Monday, October 24, 2016 edition of the Red Deer Advocate, I read an article entitled “When Honourees Don’t Want Their Prize” referencing various celebrities who have refused to accept awards, most recently Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Basically, the article looks down on the award recipients for not accepting the awards/honours.
Personally, I think the author, and personalities quoted, are missing the point.
First, an award or honour is given to someone based on something exceptional - in the eyes of the award committee or fans - that the recipient has done in their career or lives. An award is not conferred only on condition of acceptance.
Second, the award or honour is not actively sought by the recipient. “Someone else” has decided that the recipient is worthy and deserving. Thus, again, there is no condition of acceptance.
We all could probably name a handful of people we know, or seen, who are only doing whatever they are doing for the accolades. It is obvious when that is someone’s major motivation for doing something, and as such, their efforts lack heart and connection, coming across as empty and false.
I recently read of someone who desperately wanted to win a Grammy - that was their main career goal - but they didn’t even like singing! Now, why set a goal in an area where you have no interest, or sometimes aptitude? That person was making themselves miserable chasing a goal in an area that they couldn’t stand.
All of us, have a part of us that longs for fame, but it isn’t “fame” so much as validation that what we do, and who we are, matters. If you are doing something that is important to you, and that makes your heart sing, then the act of doing the activity will be validation enough.
And should someone be so moved to acknowledge your efforts and give you an award, that will be the optional chocolate sprinkles on top of the icing on top of the cake.
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