I always found doing something for the reward was less than. I found it better to forego credit and attempt to remain humble. It was my aspiration to be more altruistic, to do good work without recognition.
There is honor in notice. Accolades are not to be shied away from. The noun referrers to any award, honor, or laudatory notice.
I think of the graduates this year, be it from college, high school, tech school, graduate school, or even the eighth grade. Their achievement is without ceremony. The applause is missing.
I think back on my own graduations. From high school, I wore a white gown and cap with an orange tassel and stood with the others from my small class. My parents were there, my teachers, my grandparents, my sister. I found the pomp and circumstance less than necessary. When, I graduated from college cum laude, I skipped the ceremony all together. I shied away from recognition, avoided the accolades.
Sports were never a part of my life. I wasn’t raised to be a competitor. I never stood on a podium for a metal or ribbon. I never learned the lessons of pride from an athletic achievement. Instead, I was an introvert, reading, writing. I did compete in Swing Choir and Forensics. But those activities drew few spectators and the state competitions were quiet and far away. We didn’t ride a bus with painted windows to the capital.
Somehow, at my middle age, I have yet to learn the poise of confidence. I have yet to become comfortable in others highlighting my professional, literary, and personal accomplishments.
Accolade originates from phrasing roughly translated to embracing around the neck. It was originally a word used for a tapping of the sword on the shoulders to confer knighthood. Extending meaning is as praise, award.
Certainly, what could I do that would warrant such a gesture as this!
I think of The Parable of Talents from the Book of Matthew. Those who were able to multiple the talents given were given more. The one who buried his talent away had that too taken from him.
With confidence, I can sow what I have been given and reap what is possible. From this, I can hear the following verse:
“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'” (Matthew 25:16-23).