The Diminishing of Awards and the Meaning of Words

Gifts versus Rewards

Have you ever gotten an award only to wonder later why you really got it? Decades ago, I attended a summer day camp in my hometown. Between games and the walk to the local swimming hole, there was quiet time where children colored. Now, I was very good at coloring and on that first day of five, I got the “Coloring Award.” I felt so proud of my accomplishments. The next day a girl scraped a knee and later she got the coloring award and my nine year old mind wondered, “How?” The following day, another hurt child got an award and I began to wonder if my coloring was that good after all.

Awards usually mean something. Gifts are unearned, but awards are suppose to recognize accomplishments. Whether one agrees with the outcome of the deed, awards such as The Nobel Prize usually recognized scientists and statesmen who excelled in a particular field or endeavor. Lately, some of the names awarded can make one wonder about the motivation. Foundations and scholarships can easily be influenced by public opinion, popularity, politics psychological fads and other nonfactual based criteria. The Prize oftentimes becomes The Gift.

When I taught piano, I usually gave a scholarship to at least one student at a time. It is interesting to note that with only a couple of exceptions over the 38 years I taught, most students valued the piano lessons less when it was given to them. I then had to adopt the practice of three strikes and then the scholarship was withdrawn. I’m a slow learner at times and it did take a while to accept the fact that people value more the things they earn. So, usually I tried to recognize as many students as possible in the piano recitals. Students loved earning my “Busy Fingers” awards, since most students who weren’t music major material could still excel in their technical studies.

Words versus Actions

There was a chorus we would sing in church that goes in part:

What you do speaks so loud,

that the world can’t hear what you say.

They’re looking at your walk,

Not listening to your talk;

They’re judging by your actions everyday. . . .

It was a catchy tune with a big, serious message. As we look around us and hear the use of words change to often mean the opposite of it’s intended use, it is more important than ever to remain clear in our communication, meaning and actions as to our intent. Rather than “preach” to you, you may ask yourself, “How many of these quotes from remarkable individuals in history reflect the times we are living in today?’ By the way, all the quotes can be found from a wonderful website: https://www.azquotes.com/

William Shakespeare

  • What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.
  • No legacy is so rich as honesty.
  • I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed!

Mark Twain

  • No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.
  • I was educated once – it took me years to get over it.
  • Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.
  • It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
  • A little more kindness, A little less speed, A little more giving, A little less greed, A little more smile, A little less frown, A little less kicking, A man while he’s down, A little more “We”, A little less “I”, A little more laugh, A little less cry, A little more flowers, On the pathway of life, And fewer on graves, At the end of the strife. (An aside, I find this missing in the news today).
  • Every civilization carries the seeds of its own destruction, and the same cycle shows in them all. The Republic is born, flourishes, decays into plutocracy, and is captured by the shoemaker whom the mercenaries and millionaires make into a king. The people invent their oppressors, and the oppressors serve the function for which they are invented.

Albert Einstein

  • Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent People Ignore.
  • The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
  • The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.
  • There is no vaccine against stupidity.
  • We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
  • Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
  • Be a voice not an echo.
  • Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
  • Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.
  • The more I study science, the more I believe in God.

And, I didn’t include so many others. Though, for those who may need it, here’s a few from Will Rogers:

  • When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.
  • There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
  • After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him… The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
  • There are men running governments who shouldn’t be allowed to play with matches.
  • I would love to see Mr. (Henry) Ford in there, really. I don’t know who started the idea that a President must be a Politician instead of a Business man. A Politician can’t run any other kind of business. So there is no reason why he can run the U.S. That’s the biggest single business in the World.
  • The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.
  • The problem in America isn’t so much what people don’t know; the problem is what people think they know that just ain’t so.
  • The taxpayers are sending congressmen on expensive trips abroad. It might be worth it except they keep coming back
  • I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

These quotes show the reasoning abilities and humor lost in so many of today’s generation. Here’s one from current times and I close with a final quote to think on:

Denzel Washington

  • Man gives you the award but God gives you the reward.

, , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.