Giving credit where credit is due. A tale of giving and taking back.

As a kid, have you ever wondered why your parents focused on that one bad grade instead of praising you for all the other good ones?

As a grown up, have you had others (employer, or partner) highlight your negative sides, and totally overlook the positive ones?

It has surely happened to me. On more than one occasion. It is my mission to recognize and praise as much good in people as I can, but the bad parts are somehow so much easier to focus on.

None of us are either all good, or all bad. We all have some good sides to us, but we also have some faults. It is called being human.

Depending on your religion, you might believe that once you die, your life will be evaluated, and your actions will be put on a scale. If you did more good than bad, you will be rewarded, while if you did more bad than good, you will be punished.

***

I have to confess that I found this great quote a while back that I wanted to share with you, but I lost it. When I read something I enjoy, or something that I think I could use for my blog, I print it out and put it next to my computer for when I have time to write. Sometimes, there is something more pressing that I want to blog about, and so those printouts just remain untouched. Every now and again, I look through the pile to see if it is something I feel like writing at that given moment. After a while, when I gather more than enough materials, but never get to use it, I decide to purge. Most of the time it is a good idea. However, it seems like I trashed something yesterday that I could have used today. The piece of paper included an article (which I can look up), my notes (thoughts), and a quote. 

The quote was by someone with last name “Brown”. I think it was a female. And the meaning of it was along the lines of: “It does not matter who they are if what they say makes sense”. Of course it was worded better. What it meant was that if a certain quote speaks to you, then should it not be enough? Do you need to know (and agree with) everything about that person?

***

Motivational quotes are trendy. That is all this world seems to be about. Because we have such limited time, and our attention span is so short, it seems that motivational quotes are the only things that can catch our attention and push us to new heights. I am not the biggest fan of those, but if they work for you, who am I to stop you from pinning a million of them a day?

The reason for the quote rant is a piece of news that I read recently. Apparently, a university issues an apology for using a Nazi general’s motivational quote. No, the quote did not say: “Burn the Jews”. It said: “One cannot permit unique opportunities to slip by for the sake of trifles.” In the issued apology, the university said that they had not intended to offend anyone, and that whoever chose that quote was unaware who the author was.

First of all, the quote is mediocre in my opinion. If that is what they tried to apologize for, then I will accept their attempt. But I am genuinely curious as to who got offended and by what exactly. There is nothing wrong with the quote, yet it had to be withdrawn and defamed forever.

The second part of the apology focused on the fact that people do not research authors of various quotes. That is something that I actually understand. I often times wonder what are the back stories of the people whom we quote. And I research them. Even if a tiny bit. But I am aware that not everyone does that.

In other news, people are attempting to remove Donald Trump’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame in light of his presidential actions. I do not want to discuss politics and argue for, or against his character. What I want to talk about is the fact that he achieved recognition (the star), and now someone wants to take it back.

Both of the above mentioned pieces of news focus on taking something back because of someone’s negative perception of the subject. How fair is that?

THIS is why I wanted to share the quote with you. To illustrate that positive things are not nullified by negative actions. We have all done some good and some bad things, but do we want to only be remembered by the bad? Look at what is going on around the country of the US. People want to change street names, take down statues, etc. All because of something that person did that they do not agree with. But why do we forget that they must have done something good to deserve the recognition in the first place? Why does our world need to be so black and white when we humans are all shades of grey?

Do you recognize the good in people?

Do you forget all the good once they do something bad?

What warrant taking back of recognition?

Stay golden,

Signature.

***

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49 thoughts on “Giving credit where credit is due. A tale of giving and taking back.

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  1. Thank you for sharing these carefully thought out words about human nature. I wondered the same thing about the momentum to “take back” symbols of recognition for something done by a person of historical significance,if anything negative, or even slightly imperfect– is brought to light: as in the decision by the Association for Library Service this year to change the name of a children’s literature award that honored Laura Ingalls Wilder because a group decided that in some places in her books contained ” expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness.” Hmmmm.

    As someone who read all of Wilder’s books , they must be straining for a gnat. And wouldn’t it be fine to simply acknowlege that ALL of us are impacted by the era and culture in which we live, and therefore certain attitudes or expressions will be evident in our speech or writings?

    Pretty soon I suppose we will try to post-humously discredit George Washington as a “real president” since he did own slaves, right? And since it is well known that Martin Luther King, Jr. engaged in some publicly immoral and rather embarrassing behavior, shouldn’t we rename MLK day to “National Civil Rights Day” or something?

    Or must we all be perfect before we can receive recognition for something well done?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a child, I remember hearing: “Who gives and takes back will end up in hell.” And that is exactly what I think of when such situations arise. Someone, sometime thought person A was worthy of something. What makes YOU so special that you can nullify that?

      That ALSC quote just made me so mad. All of a sudden, something is not a worthy piece of art, history, or literature because the author said, or did something centuries ago that YOU don’t agree with? How self centered are you?

      Such spot on words – we all were and ARE impacted by the world around us. Things were different in the past, things will be different in the future. How is that so hard to understand? Like the idea of getting rid of movie classics just because there were black people playing servants and slaves? You know, that happened. Weather you liked it or not.

      Yup. I believe they have already tried with various past presidents (regarding the slave owning). Creating their own mythology… Ha! I love your MLK idea!

      Well, that’s the thing. Some people DON’T need to be perfect. It’s all arbitrary…

      Thank you for such a responsive comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How can we learn from our past if we keep whitewashing it? Life isn’t do overs, it’s try, try, win some, lose some and LEARN. Soon there will be nothing left to learn from.
    Tearing down (as an example) Confederate statues achieves what?
    The equivalent of Holocaust deniers that’s what.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Speaking of Holocaust, the Dutch still like to talk trash about Germans because of what they did in the 1940’s.
    This is the reason why I will NEVER feel fully Dutch. I can’t blame today’s youth for something their great grandparents might have done.

    Another example of the relationship I have with one colleague:
    He started off as the nicest one.
    Then something happened which he blamed me for and ever since he has decided to be an asshole to me.
    But recently he complimented me on something and I was willing forgive all petty actions he did before.
    Only the day after I got a nasty.
    That’s it! He will never do good in my eyes.
    And there is a couple of people like that on my list.

    When someone who is usually good does something bad, I can get really disappointed.
    But I do want to remind myself that everyone has a moment of weakness or bad day.
    Since I’m not perfect either.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Germans are doomed for all eternity. It seems like it. And so are Russians.

      Thanks for sharing your example. I understand why you close yourself off to potential hurt. Some people do not deserve our time of day.

      What bothers me is how people who had nothing to do with that person decide weather they are/ were good or bad. How can you judge someone that died before you were born? Someone you’ve never met?

      Great closing lines. We are only human.

      Like

  4. … That’s a huge topic…there’s good in each… let’s say that it might be true, depending on the circumstances, time, episodes, etc. But, there’re also souls that are (almost?) completely in the dark… and they rarely acknowledge that… so … From there to say it’s all black or white…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. … my instinct would say yes. I want to believe it’s possible, still, most depends on them. Some fear getting out of darkness because this is what they believe in and feel like betraying it if they withdraw…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by.
      We know rewarding good behavior can lead to more good behavior. So why are we trying to punish good behavior? Because that’s what it feels like in a way. If you want to discipline, discipline for the negative action, not the positive one. It then sends mixed signals and creates culture of “Why try at all?”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. It causes much confusion. It makes you think if I do good today, and then make a mistake tomorrow, I am worse than if I don’t try at all. Not a good way to teach people to think. You raise great points with this post.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As a coach we are taught what we call a positive sandwiche when giving feedback to players.
    You give the a positive a negative then another positive. I know as a player there is nothing worse then just receiving negative feedback because even if you are doing something right not hearing about it can make you doubt that.

    Your statement about trump made me think and while back when Australia was going through the marriage equality debate and vote. Margaret Court (ex tennis player) came out and was/is against marriage equality and same sex marriage and was very vocal about her opinions people were calling for the stadium named after her to be renamed into another athletes or persons name because of her opinions on same sex marriage.
    Not to get into that debate but my thinking was that the stadium was named after her for what she achieved in the world of sport and tennis and being the front of women’s tennis when women were lucky to be considered elite athletes she did what many hadn’t done before. So she deserved that stadium being named after her. Does her opinion on one issue take all that she did and earned ? I don’t think so, her sporting achievements don’t change because of her opinion on something else, she still achieved it.
    Like you said everyone is a shade of grey some lighter some darker but nothing is black or white.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dislike the sandwich technique. But maybe it’s because I heard about it from a very toxic person, who would use overly flashy complements and then would say the nastiest, most patronizing things, followed by sugary sweet lies. It just makes me sick even thinking of that. But I understand that hearing only bad things about yourself can definitely shake your foundations. In sports, or outside.

      Thank you for sharing your Australian experience! You’ve said it so well. Her achievements do not magically disappear. If I was there when the stadium was about to be named and I disagreed, then I would have protested, but taking something back years after? That’s just silly. Even if I disagree with that person’s views. It’s simply too late. Now, I think about those that got their medals, records, etc. while doping, but that’s a whole other story.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s sometimes a thin line between someone who held some nasty beliefs and someone who was a “product of their time”. And once they’re gone, we can never know whether they would have changed with the times. Can we give people the benefit of the doubt? Are we revising history if we take down their statues? Is it better to leave them up, and to remember our imperfect past? Certainly we should be careful about who we choose as role models, but time will make fools of us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You make so much sense. I think it’s human nature to see that one bad thing and forget the hundred good things they did. That’s the power of negative. But I also think that we should take some time to calm our thoughts and put ourselves into the other person’s shoes to try and understand why they did what they did.
    In the last five years, I have become a big time critic- but a constructive one- as I see loopholes everywhere. But if I see something that can be made better in people, I tell it to them only when I know that they would take it in a positive way and try to understand what I mean. I feel I am a lot mature than most people at understanding things from different perspectives but I fear that people might take my suggestions in the wrong way because I say things straight on the face when I criticise.
    I do want things to be perfect and I know that they can’t be. That’s when I appreciate all that is there.

    And now I wonder if it makes sense because I think I drifted away from the point you were raising 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s an excellent point you make – to take a moment to calm ourselves and objectively assess the situation.

      Ha! Critic! Loopholes! Are you talking about me? That’s how I feel. YES! People take what I say the wrong way ALL the time.

      No, it makes total sense. See, I missed having someone who understands me, and I understand them.

      Liked by 1 person

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