The Award Phenomenon
It’s that time of year when all manner of awards are given out e.g. the People’s Choice, the SAG, the Oscars, Super Bowl trophy. We seem to be an award driven society. Consider the fact that any time two or more individuals congregate, someone comes out with one of the following: a trophy, a medal, a certificate, a scalp, a ribbon, money, an appliance, a jar of Ida Mae’s Super Probiotic Kombucha. Even our pets are part of this phenomenon. Dogs get prizes for sitting. Cats get prizes for making an appearance. Horses get roses for running fast. I wonder if I could get roses for running fast. Achievement in order to be some kind of winner dates back to the beginning of life on earth. Did you know the real reason dinosaurs became extinct was because of vying for the golden goose? That’s right.
There were several species of dinosaurs-tyrannosaurus, stegosaurus, apatosaurus, ichthysaurus, and a foxasaurus, for example. The dinosaurs were either herbivores or carnivores. The herbivores roamed the earth doing dinosaur stuff and feasting on the lush foliage. The carnivores roamed the earth doing dinosaur stuff and feasting on each other. All was well. Then one fateful day, the course of history was changed forever. To explain, we must fast forward several million years. There were a couple of brothers named Grimm, a Dane named Anderson and a Frenchman named Anonymous who wrote stories for children. In one of these stories there was a boy, Jack, who climbed up a beanstalk that went into the clouds. In the clouds was a castle inhabited by a giant who had valuable treasures. Jack, being a greedy, selfish teen-age felon, began stealing the giant’s treasures. One of his heists included taking a goose that laid golden eggs. As Jack was making his way down the beanstalk, he slipped. Struggling to regain his footing, he inadvertently let go of the goose. The goose plummeted towards the ground. During her free fall, she went through a wrinkle in time. This took her back to Jurassic Park, landing in the lap of the foxasaurus. The goose was so freaked out by these shocking events, she began laying golden eggs uncontrollably. Foxy Loxy (that was the foxasaurus’ name) knew a good thing when he saw it. So he seized the opportunity to cash in. First, he gathered up the traumatized goose, the golden eggs and brought them to his cave. He told Lucy (that was the goose’s name) she would be safe there. Foxy devised a plan to arrange contests and various competitions among the dinosaurs. Winners would receive a golden egg. There would be entry fees to participate. Foxy would get rich from these fees. How to get the word out? That sly old Foxy found a way even without social media.
The other dinosaurs were quite intrigued by the idea of something new to do with their time. For a while, all went according to Foxy’s plan. However, the best laid plans of foxasauruses oft go astray. Long story short, the loser dinosaurs wanted to be winners. They wanted golden eggs and set about to obtain them. Their methods were nefarious. There was looting and pillaging. Fights broke out. The skirmishes turned into a great war. As the dinosaurs were destroying themselves, Foxy grabbed Lucy and escaped to the edge of the earth. Everyone knows that in those days, the earth was flat. Foxy figured his only chance was to jump. With Lucy tucked under an appendage, he leapt into space. And would you believe it? They passed through another wrinkle in time. Amazingly, Lucy found herself back in Jack’s arm just as he got down from the beanstalk. So that story turned out as we know it. The foxasaurus found himself standing on all fours at the edge of a barnyard. His dinosaur scales had turned into fur. Looking around, his eye caught sight of a little chicken flapping and clucking something about the sky falling. Foxy Loxy’s mercenary mind began formulating new schemes for fun and profit. We also know how that story turned out. Meanwhile the war of dinosaurs waged on, until they were completely eradicated. All that remained was silence . . . and a pile of bones.
There are 4 morals to this story:
One: We all need to feel acknowledged, appreciated and loved.
Two: Seeking acknowledgement by an award does not lead to life long fulfillment. That jar of Ida Mae’s empties in time.
Three: Looking inside, into our hearts will help us understand our worth, that we are already enough.
Four: When we realize we are an original, that we always have what it takes, a blue ribbon or a new jar of Ida Mae’s Kombucha can’t hurt.
Comments are welcomed.
Recently my granddaughter had to do a project for school about her ancestry. I was glad I could contribute somewhat to her project. Both sets of my grandparents were immigrants. One pair emigrated from Russia and the other from Poland. I know my grandmother left Poland just as WW1 was breaking out. I don’t know for sure about my Russian grandparents. I am guessing about the same time or a little before the war. I shared all I knew with my granddaughter which was not very much. That is what prompted me to write about this.
My grandparents and both of my parents have been gone for some time now. What I miss having was their stories. I have no doubt my grandparents could have shared what their life was like in Russia and Poland; what prompted them to emigrate to New York; how they managed to get out of their respective countries; where they went to board a ship that took them to Ellis Island. Sometimes immigrants' names were changed at that port of entry. I don't even know if my grandparents names were changed. These things were never talked about. All I knew as a child was that the grandparents lived in New York City for awhile before moving to the ‘country.’ The country was actually 2 small towns In the Catskills. One set lived in one of the towns. The other set was in my home town. Being a kid with such weighty things on my mind like how soon I could go outdoors and play with the neighborhood kids, it never occurred to me to inquire about my heritage. Neither my parents nor my grandparents ever talked about their lives prior to being in the U.S.
I now find that regretable and kind of sad. Everyone of us has a story, an important story. Our stories matter and ought to be shared. There is so much we can learn from each other; so much we can contribute that can make a difference.
What is your story? Do you know your heritage? There is something unique and special about everyone of us. I believe it is important to pass on our wisdom, what we have learned. What is the legacy we would like to leave? We all have a purpose or we wouldn’t be here. We may not always know what that purpose is, but be assured that we can have an affect that can be realized in generations to come.
An example of one practice that has wended it's way through the ages is noted by Elayne Boosler: My ancestors wandered lost in the wilderness because even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask for directions.
Comments are welcomed.
A curious thing has been happening in my psyche for the past few months. I kept hearing the word hope over and over and over again. What did it mean? I certainly couldn’t say for sure. Maybe it was a sign. 2018 was an exceptionally challenging year for me and many others. With stuff happening right up to the turn of the calendar. The one constant was that word hope not going away.
What I concluded, is that it may be a message for the new year. Perhaps even a template for how to be in our lives. As Martin Luther said several centuries ago, Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.”
There is much turmoil and uncertainty on so many levels in the world these days. Still there is hope because there are those doing whatever they can to bring goodness and restore stability. We have choices. We always have choices. Even when we stand immobile and do nothing, that is a choice. Is that what we want, succumbing to our challenges, not making waves, believing there is nothing we can do? However, when we choose hope, there are no limits to possibility. I found that the following by Dave Hood said it best:
“Hope is not wishful thinking, nor is it magical thinking. Hope is an emotion, a mindset, a belief, a motivation, that despite setbacks and obstacles, despite hardship and misfortune, despite the unknown last chapter of your life’s story, you believe that your life will work out, that when you take your last breath, there is something else beyond this world.
You can do incredible things when you have enough hope.”
Maybe, just maybe, the message entering the unknown of what lies before us is, whatever we are faced with, our default needs to be hope.
Comments are welcomed.
2018’s Not So Grand Finale
The last lines of T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men are, “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.” With only a few hours left in the year, 2018 decided it was not done with me quite yet. And so, the year ended not with a whimper but a clunk.
A friend and I went for lunch as we did many times over the past few years. The restaurant we frequented was closed. We tried some other restaurants on the same block. Closed, closed and closed. You might think it was a holiday. We had passed a café along the way, so we back tracked to find it open. We were nearly bowled over by especially loud music upon entering. The proprietor was kind enough to turn down the volume. I must note that we were the only customers at the time. I must also note that coffee is a big thing with me. Coffee is part one of what turned out to be the clunk of 2018.
What’s the big deal about coffee? Glad you asked. I only have one cup a day, generally with lunch. Since it is just one cup, the coffee needs to be of excellent quality. Certainly never instant. I’d rather go without. This one cup enhances my mood and my brain loves it. So much cheaper than therapy. Back to the story.
I ordered a coffee when the proprietor, now the server, asked us about drinks. She asked if I preferred milk or cream. Cream, please, expecting one of those little pitchers or premeasured containers with the pull off tops. Wrong. She returned with a mug of coffee flavored cream. I asked if she would mind pouring some off and adding more coffee as I preferred just a wee bit of cream. She seemed glad to oblige, returning with what was still coffee flavored cream. I decided to just drink it.
Next was the meal we ordered. Only proprietor, server lady may have then turned into food prep lady as an extraordinary long time went by before I got my grilled chicken sandwich. I note again, we were the only customers. Who knows? Maybe she had to catch, kill and prepare the chicken for grilling first. That process does take time.
The food finally arrived. It was served in one of those ginormous rectangular glass plates. The majority of the space was taken up with lettuce with a couple of sliced cherry tomatoes. The sandwich was quite like a Dagwood. No way would I be able to pick it up and take a bite. I did try but the chicken slid out from the bun. The best thing might be to remove the top part of the bun, return the chicken to the bottom half and eat it as an open-face. Seemed like agood idea. Wrong again. This chicken had a mind of it’s own. It used the bun as a flight deck became air borne, slid across my shirt and performed a half gainer dive onto the floor with a resounding splat. My friend retrieved the chicken and set it in an empty dish. If this was at home, the 5 second rule could have been invoked. However, never in a public place.
I didn’t have the heart to tell the food prep, server, proprietor lady what had happened. I did what any reputable martyr would do. I ate that mountain of lettuce had a few bites of the bun, and washed it all down with some coffee flavored cream.
There are 2 morals to this story:
One: When you ask for what you want, be very specific and assume nothing. When you assume it makes an ass of u and me.
Two: It is always best to find the up side of the down side. That day’s up side was good company and kindness.
Comments are welcomed.