Had your fill of award shows yet…? Wait, there’s more…!
When members of the animal kingdom succeed at something, they award themselves by cackling, strutting, beating their chests, spreading their wings. Homo sapiens like to give one another trophies. Behold the awesome arrogance of the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Golden Globes, Obies, Country Westerns, the list runs on into televised perpetuity.
Nothing’s wrong with celebrating achievement, for achieving is what living is supposed to include. But really, I ask you, when do we stop….! Along with 23 ego-extravaganzas a year where entertainers entertain themselves with entertainment baubles for their entertainment resumes, come countless retirement dinners, school reunions, and doctor/lawyer/teacher/cafeteria-of-the-year celebrations. Where sometimes there are awards just for showing up.
A new zeitgeist is afoot in our fair land, starting in our school PE classes: “Everyone’s A Winner!” Good for our self-image, self-confidence, self, self and self. In fact, so much self, the concept selfless has been excised from most dictionaries. Teddy Roosevelt, Ayn Rand, George Patton, and Steve Jobs would not understand.
I don’t understand. Not because honoring our betters is wrong. Rather, because lately we have decided no one is really “better.” Not in a democracy. Not where the most uneducated, incoherent, dis-informed, bought-by-TV-ads voter can cast their ballot with as much authority as the Harvard professor, Silcon Valley entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal editor, and my highly educated and passionately informed children. Sorry.
Democracy was born in ancient Greece where the greatest Greek of them all, Aristotle, wrote: “Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.”
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