Recognition Begins at Home
I’ve been in the recognition and engraving business for most of my adult life. It’s a demanding job, often riddled with rush orders, late nights and working Saturdays. If I’ve learned one thing that I would categorize in my top five must-knows for anyone working a full-time job with a family it is, “recognition begins at home!” Not only is it important to recognize our spouse and children for supporting us when we’re focused on our job, it’s also important to step back now and then to personally recognize how our work habits may negatively impact our most precious relationships.
This belief comes from personal experience because, as any of us that have a demanding job can attest, our spouses are often the backbone of our success, many times, bearing our burdens and picking up the slack while we’re focused on our business responsibilities. After just completing a major project – development of the new and improved Newline Trophy – I can say my wife went out of her way to support me and my children, often with a somewhat distant husband father who was not focused on their needs.
Please believe me, I’m not suggesting you give your spouse an engraved trophy or award, even though they likely deserve something of even greater value. I am suggesting you take a minute before you walk in the house from work to think about how she or he bears your burdens, even if in a small way.
American philosopher William James 1842-1910, said the following:
“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
An unappreciated person is more likely to listen to what the world tells them; you deserve more than this. The grass is greener on the other side, or you can only take so much of this. Trust me, the last thing any of us wants to hear 20 years after we said “I do” is, “I want out – it’s too late now and I’m done!”
So, let’s take a look at personal reflection, which I believe is the key to any form of recognition program. Whether designing a program to recognize employees, a valuable team member or somebody in your family it’s critical to step back and evaluate the people involved. Here are some simple questions you could ask as you contemplate and evaluate the people in your life who might deserve some appreciation and recognition:
- In what ways did _______ improve my situation?
- How was my life made easier by _______?
- If I were on my own, without the help of _______ could I manage this well?
Sometimes, the answers may come easily because your spouse or children may stand out as shining stars. But I challenge you to dig deep and search for the truth, which often lies in the everyday nitty gritty of life: She did the laundry, took care of the household finances, drove the kids around, shopped, made dinner, took my clothes to the cleaners and loves me even when I’m a crab. How did this person bear your burdens last year, last month, last week, yesterday and today?
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
I believe in my heart that Paul, when writing this verse, was referring to Matthew 22: 37-39 where Jesus says the following:
37And he said to him,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38This is the great and first commandment.39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I say recognition is a form of loving God, your spouse, your children, your employees, your friends and your neighbor, as yourself. Take a minute to recognize and appreciate the people in your life for supporting you and the busy schedule you keep and see the difference it makes in your relationships.
Just some thoughts. Stay tuned for my next post on Participation Trophies.
Mike Whalen - President Newline Trophy