Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Honorable Mentions

"There is always one moment in childhood when the  door opens and lets the future in." 
~Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory 
Something my father told me really helped me as I became a teacher.
I came home from school one day with my third, 'Honorable Mention' ribbon. I was really disappointed. I never quite seemed to make first place, or second or third place....I was always mentioned last.
"Why do you complain when you are given such an honor? He questioned me with concern,"Look up, 'honorable' in the dictionary and you tell me what it means."

Honorable; Of high rank, dignity, or distinction: noble, illustrious, or distinguished. Upright.

I went back to my father and smiled.
"Why does my teacher always hand out the 'Honorable Mentions' last, then?" I sighed as he put his arm around me.
"Good question," He said smiling back at me. ( I really liked it when he said I had a good question). "This world is backwards sometimes, first is last and last is first-remember not to forget."

I was eight-years-old.

I still strove to be the best I could be...but when my name wasn't called it wasn't always so bad.
I suppose as we get older there is depth to what we learn and remember as children. I remember the comforting words of my dad...back then, and that being last is okay.
Now as an adult I can see what it means to truly give of yourself. To sacrifice of your time, energy, and to love and not expect anything in return. 
I guess if you do stand still in life you wind up walking backwards....
Building, moving on, success.....for all us Honorable Mentions out there.
That's progress.

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