Our society has been extraordinary at giving people who have worked at nothing huge amounts of notoriety. Think of how many names were made famous for no reason at all; Paris Hilton, Omorosa, anyone from the Bachelor, or any member of the Kardashian family. Why do I know their names?I would have no problem if these people set out to excel in some field, if they had arrived at where they are by chasing or attaining a goal or a vision. Every person wants to excel, and many do, but not all of them are famous. In my world (the world I would have if I was the Emperor) people who achieve something based on effort would be held up to praise, those there by circumstance or parentage…not so much.
We recently finished our competition season and it is always hard to see the girls at championship meets cry upon completion or upon winning accolades. The tears are not tears of joy for winning, they are tears of joy for validating a long season, a year, or career. Achievement based on effort and worthy of notoriety. I explain to my gymnasts that in the beginning that they are choosing to make investments of time, energy, and focus. They are investing sacrificed time with friends and weekends. Their parents make similar sacrifices to be there to support their daughters and when the season ends, the tears come when they realize that the investment has paid a dividend. This is glorious.
This however is true of all of us. We work hard and seldom get our efforts noticed; extra hours on the job, weekend shifts, overtime, and sometimes they don’t come with a raise or even a graciously honorary parking spot in the company lot. Sometimes the effort goes unheralded. And that, that is life.
Not everyone can be called into the spotlight when they are worthy. Not everyone will become a household name. I think it’s important to recognize these gymnasts and other kids who might be giving herculean efforts on school projects, household chores or homework for all they do. A pat on the back can go a long way on getting the praise-worthy job repeated. Kids now-a-days are thirsty for recognition and validation. To be sure, but maybe, if we all decided to let each other know, when we notice the effort, that it has been witnessed, maybe we would have less people resenting effort and more people putting it in.