Friday, December 14, 2007

Do you have the proper papers?

There was one last faculty meeting yesterday before the end of the semester, aside from the shindig next week. During the meeting the choir teacher got up and reported that her kids had recently visited a retirement home to put on a show for the residents. And while I was appreciating the kind nice gesture, she continued with, “If anyone else can think of other places we can perform, then let me know. We’re four more performances away from getting a Governor’s Good Citizen Certificate from the state!”

That last sentence was shouted and emphasized with a fist pump, like she just made eagle on the 18th hole to win the Masters. I say that because to complement things, the audience cheered like she just did.

Now I’ve sounded off on this before, so bear with me. Why does goodwill have to be encouraged by reward? We’re not learning to use a litter box. We’re being nice to people!

What happens if you don’t get the certificate by not helping enough people (that doesn’t even sound right)? Are you a failure? Are those you blessed no longer appreciative for your kindness? The answer to those last questions is, “No. Hell no.”

Look, I’m all for recognition, but let’s not do it through a certificate that separates those who make one effort from those with multiple efforts. Let’s pump our fists and cheer for our kids each time they perform a good act.

Can I get an “Amen!” from the congregation?

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