Wednesday, February 6, 2019

"How Important is Recognition" (Redux 2019)

               This post is one that can be posted any time of year, no matter the season or occasion.  It's an ever-relevant message that transcends the calendar.  It's also a message that I wrote in an article almost twenty-five years ago, when we were physically printing paper awards newsletters (remember them?).  Even though the circulation format is different from then, the name of the newsletter is the same today, in our current digital version, as it was in our printed version, a quarter of a century ago - as some things don't necessarily have to change.  Now even though some of the athletes mentioned in the original article may not ring a bell to some readers today, the overall message still rings true.  So, here it is (again) - this time in "cyber" black & white (and red, of course, for direct links to our website)...

"How Important is Recognition"
               Imagine, if you would, the World Series without the Commissioner's Trophy.  Imagine the NHL Finals without the Stanley Cup.  How about the Super Bowl sans the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  What's the big deal?  On the surface, they're just pretty metal statues in sports that are passed on from one team owner's office shelf to the next.  Then why is their acquisition, though difficult to accomplish and fleeting in duration, so coveted every recurring season?  Why do the writers seek the Pulitzer and stage actors the Tony?  What is it about the Nobel Peace Prize that carries so much global honor and prestige?  In a word: symbolism.
               Accolades such as these and awards of any proportion symbolize all the sweat, all the effort, all the trials, heartbreaks, challenges, hurdles, and shortcomings that come with the journey to true excellence.  This may sound overly dramatic, but imagine their absence.  Imagine finishing at the top of your trade and having no tangible, physical representation of your achievement to remind you of the memory, to compel you to further action, to reinforce your confidence, or to restore your faith when future challenges square their shoulders against you.  From the thrill a child may get from a "gold star" in elementary school to their first Little League trophy to earning a college degree, the general idea is the same; recognition - that is, recognition of themselves as well as by those around them.  The emotive impact of recognition is a critically important quality to acknowledge and maintain in every walk of life.  It's just as integral to our self-esteem as any form of acceptance.
               Recognition can be a simple "thank you" or a pat on the back.  It can be a heartfelt "congratulations" or a "high-five".  It can be a bittersweet "goodbye" or a hug.  But better yet, it can be an actual symbol of that gratitude, admiration, or farewell wish.  The expression of recognition is an expression of giving.  It represents the intrinsic value of our own talents, skills and abilities, then immortalizes the accomplishments they produce.  It is to the seeking of excellence as the peak is to the mountaineer.
               The expression of recognition comes in many forms, and at Loria, these take the shapes of marble, brass, lucite, crystal, bronze, jadestone, onyx, pewter, walnut, rosewood and so on.  The expression of recognition is, in the proverbial nutshell, what we provide at Loria Awards - and such an expression can be attained no matter what the occasion or budget.
               By the way, imagine the Oscars without "Oscar".  Would Spielberg have been thrilled?  Take this past winter's Olympics, less the medals.  Would Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen have noticed?  Well, we all know these answers.  Let us just remember the importance of recognition and let us, at Loria Awards, help you express it.
-Roger V. Loria, Jr. ©1994