And the Winner Is…

In times when all we hear in the media and among our friends too is the buzz about who’s wining which award or who’s wearing what in which red carpet or what the host will say that will make people uncomfortable or how will the acceptance speech be; i can’t help but wonder, what do these awards really mean and who are these awards important to anyway?

Awards are like great compliments, given to us by people that – hopefully – know and have excelled in the same craft as those who receive it, awards are the recognition of a job well done; much like a star to the child who cleans up their bed room or the treat to the dog who sits quietly upon request. But awards don’t change us, awards don’t all of a sudden make us into something special or different, or at least they shouldn’t. Just because an actor receives an Oscar it doesn’t mean they will only do masterpieces from there on, right Charlize Theron? Of course it is expected of them to only do better from then on, but why should they only then go for those dramatic roles that make you cry for 45 minutes when they can also have some fun while working and do a high energy action movie or a laughable comedy? They are actors after all, they should be open to playing whatever character makes them happy, wether we, the Academy or the critics like it or not.

I was watching a show on Oprah Winfrey’s Network the other night called Master Class, in this show Oprah had Goldie Hawn talking about her life and career, and Ms. Hawn, a very accomplished and established actress – and and Oscar winner for that matter – had something very interesting to say. Goldie Hawn went on to say exactly what i’ve always been thinking, that it’s great to get an award, that it’s really cool to be recognized for the work you did and it’s good to know that your peers admire you enough that they would give you something like an Oscar, but this accolade is like a pat in the back, and it doesn’t make us any more special than we already were before, we need to be glad for it and move on, continue to do our jobs, carry on with our lives, because an award doesn’t define who we are, they give us confidence, even boost up our egos for a moment, but it should not be for more than a moment.

You see, this is where it gets tricky, it’s when the boosted ego lingers for more than a moment, and we believe that we in fact deserve something more than we’ve been getting, that we are in fact different. We are not. We should learn to take those little moments as a guide in our lives, maybe they exist to show us we are in the right path, that we are doing something that is good and admired, and it shows us which qualities we have, and that could be the lesson to be taken from an award or from that “job well done” we got from our boss, that we are in the right path and should continue to work hard, and that we should continue to give the best of ourselves in whatever it is that we are doing, otherwise, what’s the point of doing it anyway?

What is the point of doing something if it’s not done with love and passion? No point at all. So there you have it, regardless of getting an award or not, you should be happy you’ve done it and know in your heart, with or without the award, that you’ve done a great job. Other people’s opinion will not make it more special, they may validate your own, but your opinion will still be the same, much like yourself as a person, and all of us should learn to award ourselves for the hard work we do, we should learn to identify our strengths and weaknesses as human beings and work on them to improve ourselves, and we should be able to admit to ourselves and the world what they are; there is nothing wrong with that, it shows character.

Modesty, actually, false modesty, is a bitch; and i only say this because i used to be big in false modesty. Why would you discredit yourself of something you did that was very well done? No, you should take the credit and run with it, but keep in mind that it doesn’t change a thing about yourself. It is important to know what you’re worth and to keep that in check constantly, because by doing that you will always remember that even though you may have many qualities, you also have many flaws, and they are just as visible, and that no one depends on another person’s opinion to be happy, because by knowing your qualities and flaws you can be happy about yourself as a person and the feeling of being happy is extraordinary.

I recently lost a job, and all i heard from friends and people i know was how good i am and how i would turn this around because of these amazing talents and skills i have and so on and so forth. It wasn’t very long until i started wearing a cloak of wisdom and all you would hear was me talking about myself and how great i was and how i would turn things around because i was really great and no one else could be greater than me and that anyone would be a fool not to hire me because i would add so much value to a company and so on and so forth.

What a bore of a human being i had become. For over a week the world revolved around me and i could not see past myself. Finally one night, i was having dinner with a great friend, someone who knows me inside and out, and halfway through it i see a look in her face, and i know i had seen that look once before, and it scared me. I had to ask her what was wrong, but she would NOT say it, for the life of her, i could see how uncomfortable she was, and that was driving me crazy, because i knew right there that i must have done or said something absolutely awful. Finally, after much insistence she revealed the reason of her discontentment towards me: I was acting like a selfish prick. And there it was, the cloak of wisdom fell off my shoulders and i realized how ridiculous i was, riding on my high horse like i was worth a million bucks when in fact i was probably worth no more than a penny.

So here it is my friends, the true story of how a good person, which i admittedly am, can turn into an absolute douche bag, to say the least. This is again, proof that compliments and awards don’t change who we are. Those people saying how good i was when i lost my job were doing what they were supposed to be doing, they were pointing out my qualities so that i would have enough confidence to carry on and feel good about myself, they were being good friends, and after a while i became a ball of ego rolling down a mountain and destroying everything that crossed my path, even the ones who i loved the most.

We should always, always remember to stay true to ourselves and in our paths be kind and generous to others, because the award of today may be the doom of tomorrow.

Author: Gabriel Ruas Santos Rocha

writes for passion, eats for pleasure, travels for wonder.

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