Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Praise Addiction

"When you get into the end zone, act like you've been there before."
-- attributed to Vince Lombardi
This one falls into the category of "getting older." I write about that sometimes, because, like everyone on the planet, I, after all, am.

And, as I do age, I watch concepts that used to be ubiquitous become rare and then turn into complete non-entities.

Somewhere along the line, it became okay to blatantly ask for attention. That used to be considered desperate. It used to seem pathetic. Now, there's style in it. Consider the football player doing that backward bird-flap to get the stadium to cheer louder for what he has done. Consider the rock star or the rap star telling the audience, "I can't heeeeear you..."

Somewhere, in the settling historical storm that is electronic media and communication, it became okay to post memes and statements about the fact that people in certain professions get less recognition than they deserve. In my mind, it would be fine for a teacher to post how nurses get less recognition than they deserve, but it's tacky for a nurse to do it. (The fact that I need even to say this is proof that the proverbial carpet has been pulled out from under me.)

It has always seemed to me that the less recognition one requires, the cooler one is. I have always respected people who do something well for the reward of having done it well and real confidence is knowing one has done that without having to be told and without having to tell. Sure, it feels good to get external recognition, but to require that recognition just seems childish. One should appreciate praise (after, of course, considering the source) but one should not crave it or -- worse -- beg for it after, say, the age of six.

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