The Sullyfication of America
In the 11th grade I was taught one of my favorite terms – the “Hardyism” – named after poet Thomas Hardy who had a knack of creating his own “iterations” of words that just seemed to fit perfectly into his prose. I thought about that class when Gretchen came up with her own Hardyism last week…“Sullyfication”. No, not a reference to dirt, or corruption, or the worst of America…rather, the best.
I can’t even remember the exact context of the conversation but we started talking about the “the Sullyfication” of America in reference to the extraordinarily talented, and exceedingly humble pilot, Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, who so skillfully landed the broken plane into the Hudson River.
As a nation, we’re telling ourselves that we’re in a new time. The fact that almost 2 million people attended the inauguration of President Obama in an atmosphere of caring and acceptance and optimism (even when people were crowded and cold and short on basic services) is hopefully just a precursor of things to come. But in this “new era of shared responsibility” wouldn’t it also be great if we achieved without expecting congratulations or even recognition?
As a society, we seem to be set up to “reward” success. Lately, you can’t turn on the TV without tuning into an “all star” game or an award show. And there’s nothing wrong with recognizing excellence. But we have become a society where it’s common to “do” with the expectation of being recognized – instead of “doing” either because it’s inherently right and/or simply your job.
Let’s go out of our way to congratulate those around us who deserve a pat on the back – but let’s also just “do what we’re trained to do” without expecting congratulations in return. Too Utopian? I like to think it’s not…
Contributing Bloggers - Kevin & Gretchen Koitz
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