A little more than a week ago I was recognized with the Highlander of the Year award. Strangely enough, life has gone on in a normal fashion. You become yesterday’s news faster than a political promise. And there is no walking on a “red carpet”, just plain ole indoor-outdoor. I’m thinkin’ that unless there’s a cash award attached to the honour, akin to the Nobel prizes, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see much of a difference in your day to day existence. I was holding on to hope that the Highlands Chamber of Commerce could arrange for a reduction in my County mil rate, or some other life-altering cash incentive. But alas, not to be.
Some very nice people have sent notes of congratulations and still others have stopped to give me their best regards in person. All very kind. Most people, totally unaware of my new elevated position, have gone about their lives as if nothing happened. How amazing is that? A handful of people with whom I am familiar avoided mention of this auspicious recognition. Wassup with that?
Over the decades I’ve won my share of awards. As I recall it all started with a “weatherman” badge in Scouts. Such a heady moment that was. I paraded that badge around for all to see, and then the allure of badges got the better of me and I went for many more . I’ve been thinking back on those occasions and I wanted to see if I couldn’t better understand the dynamics at play. I know, you’re thinking that this guy has too much time on his hands. Not true. I just have a lot of sleepless nights (see previous blog). All this rumination led me to analyze the dispersal factor for the different groupings of people. I can only blame this insane analysis on my years in advertising and marketing communiications. My good freind, Rick Morgan, is a fine researcher and student of human nature, and he was always encouraging us to understand the business framework within which each of our cients were operating. Taking a page from his book I have done a insightful rag-tag analysis of how life works.
In the first place it is important to understand that the universe of humans we are looking at is diverse and at various levels of comprehension in its knowledge of your life and your accomplishments. There are people who know of you from what others have said or, in my case, heard you on the radio or have seen your mug in the paper. I know, it’s hard to believe that not everyone is riveted on the story of your life. Sorry. That’s just how it works.
I’ve done a chart. I love charts because they help my muddled mind try and picture what’s going on. They give you the bigger view of things. A year ago I even did a chart on our Christmas visitors, arrival times, how many in the party, how many days they were staying and the accomodation dispersement. Like my son Mark says, we’re not a family, we’re a flow chart (Smart alec kid)!!!! I remember only that the family got a good laugh out of that. I still contend that last minute changes and alterations screwed up the whole chart.
In this chart the axis are quite simple. One for people who know you and don’t know you – and then another for positive to incredulous reactions to what you do in life.
It doesn’t take rocket science to see that the moving piles of people view the news from very different angles. The yellows (our favourite segment) are made up of family, good friends and associates who are quick to pat you on the back. Bless them all.
The nasty little spot in all our lives is the red blob. You know, people who know you but think your living on borrowed time until you are exposed on the nightly news as the charlatan that you are.
Those wonderful yellows will definitely get Christmas Cards this year. I will try and get to know more of the blues, greys, salmons and oranges so that in the future we don’t greet each other with a blank stare. The small pocket of reds is a real worry. I look at the chart and ponder this small pulsating pocket of non-believers. My wife says I need to stop making charts.
Encouraging news. See those open spaces between the segments? It’s a reminder that everyone changes their place on Life Charts as time goes by. So, all we need to do is to strive to Do Good and Do Well, in as many aspects of lives as possible, and we can look forward to a sizeable population in our “upper right hand quandrant” in our final days.
There, that’s done!
Now that I’ve discovered how life works all that remains is to figure out and develop the chart that reveals the meaning of life. I’ll get to that one day, when my wife is out of the house.