The Need for Recognition

The annual IST staff/faculty award nominations came out a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to find I had been nominated for two of the four:

  • Rising Star-someone who helps the organization get to a better place
  • Community Builder-someone who helps to build community within the college.

As Staff Advisory Committee president, I got an email from one employee asking to be removed from the process. Said employee said he/she won before and it was time to let someone else win. To this person, recognition didn’t mean much. And, there’s nothing wrong with that–in fact, I find it quite honorable.

I’ve been debating this the past few days. Should I really be in the running for two awards? If at all possible, I shouldn’t win both, but in my mind, it would be nice to win at least one. I believe in everything that I do and I believe in our community. I don’t do it for recognition, but I have to say it is nice, because sometimes, I feel almost feel invisible.

This week, a group of people from my college in the holiday spirit decided to go to lunch together. Somehow, I got left off the invite email. It’s kind of like that TV commercial where the guy didn’t receive the invite to the taco party. I didn’t get recognized, and truth be told, it hurt. I’m not the friendliest nut in the box, sometimes, but I’m the first to admit it and do what I can to fix it. Nuts get lonely sometimes. But life is life, and so, it goes on…

I spent the day cooking today, so my family said I should get to go out for dinner. We went to Champs. I have never seen so many people I knew out and about in State College. It was nice. There was one family we knew long ago from baseball, but hadn’t seen lately…they got set down before we had a chance to say hi. When we left, we made sure to say hi, and before we even got to their table, they were standing up and hugging us like long lost friends. The mom said, “I told my husband, ‘That looks like Melissa Hicks.'” Obviously that mean something to her. And that meant something to me.

From when my son was 10 to when he was 18, I was a constant presence on the baseball field, facilitating the interaction between families and players and vice versa, making baseball meaningful and establishing connections.

The mom kept talking to me…us…saying how they saw us and began relaying wonderful memories from baseball long ago to the rest of their family. That season was a special one in our full history. To me, however, EACH season we ever played was memorable. I remember every person, every kid, who ever was part of our teams. We lost this family to hockey about 3 years after they started playing baseball with us. I never stopped wondering what happened to them after they “left the fold.” That’s what Facebook is for.

The point for this post is having someone recognize you and indicate that you helped create something special at one point in their life…it meant everything in the world to me.

When I wake up every morning and go out into the day, I don’t always consciously think I’ll go out and do something meaningful. At times, because of the way of the wind or the earth’s magnetic field, things sometimes turn out just right. I don’t go out of my way every day to craft memories and rainbows. I just go out and do what is right, what is just, and in the end, I can only hope when I die, someone remembers.

I know I shouldn’t be hoping to get an award, but I’ll tell you this, it would be nice. I’m not looking for world domination, but at the same time, I received my own invisible reward tonight, and I will take that any day.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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