Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Inherent Human Need for "Recognition"

       For those of us who are in the "business of recognition", it is indeed a business.  This, of course, means that we make a livelihood selling products and services that symbolically represent the deeds and achievements that our buying public deems worthy of recognizing.  
       Putting the commodity aspect of the recognition business aside for a moment, we are careful not to lose sight of the inherent, human need for recognition.  We humans, whether we acknowledge or not, and whether we express it or not, like to be recognized.  Recognizing that reality (pun entirely intended) keeps those of us who are in the recognition business on an even keel as well, with regard to being mindful of the importance of recognition in society.  Even those individuals in society who wish to remain anonymous after an act of benevolence are still comfortably mindful of their altruism, which at its very core, still demonstrates to the etymological root meaning of the word itself.   
       The word "recognition" is based on the ancient Latin word "recognoscere", which means "to know again" or "call to mind".  On its face, the word can be visibly split into two entities: the prefix "re" (meaning "repeat" or "again") and the noun "cognition", which is synonymous with "thought" (and also a grammatical variation of the word "cognitive").  In this way, the word "recognition" can literally be translated as the phrase "thought again".  When we recognize something or someone, we are recalling and expressing that remembrance.
       In a 1943 psychological study paper by Abraham Maslow (entitled "A Theory of Human Motivation") , a five-tier pyramid illustrated what was concluded to be our essential needs in life as human beings.  The pyramid was called "Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs".  The fourth tier of the pyramid indicated the needs for feeding a healthy ego and a personal sense of self-esteem.  This tier included "recognition", while the fifth and highest tier (called "self-actualization) was the one step beyond dependence on the ego.  But getting there included the step to feeding a healthy ego - which requires recognition.
"Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs", by Abraham Maslow
       Recognition comes in many forms, from the most basic verbal expression of telling someone "job well done" to the affectionate 'pat on the back'.  More elaborately, a gift can be given to an individual to commemorate that "job well done", whatever that job or deed may have been.  Those manifestations of recognition open the door to much creativity and became the building blocks of the recognition industry.
       Here at Loria, we have been a vital part of that industry for just over sixty years now, beginning as a trophy supplier to the local network of bowling leagues in the greater New York metropolitan area, to presently being a full-service, across-the-board, first-call company for products of recognition for any and every occasion.  We supply the most popular, mass-produced recognition products but we also take on the most unusual requests, which has been one of our strongest suits for many years.  For example, we recently mounted a small stack of gold-painted bagels atop a large gold-plated loving-cup with an ornamental crown surrounding and stabilizing the bagels.  Yes, when we say "full-service", we mean it!
       So next time you think of "recognition", don't forget to "recognize" Loria as your one-stop, full-service awards and engraving supplier.  We can both do our parts in bolstering a healthy sense of self-esteem in society!