I don’t think I will be winning an Academy award anytime soon. I will not be standing on a stage with my red or silver shimmery dress, thanking God and the Academy and my husband for my trophy as my colleagues and family cheer me on. I watched the Academy Awards telecast on Sunday night and as people clapped and cried through their speeches, I thought about when the rest of us, people like you and me, would have our Oscar moment.
There is a good chance it will never happen. I may never get an Oscar moment. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want recognition. In fact, I crave it more now. When I was working as a lawyer, my recognition happened when I won a hearing or a trial for a client. It was nice to feel a win, the recognition that your skills and preparation could result in a triumph in the profession that you chose. Even in my personal life, as a wife and a mom, I seek validation everyday. We all want to believe we are doing a good job, whether at the workplace or at home. It is validation that whatever skills we offer are worthy and valuable. We want to know what we are doing means something.
I think about people everywhere who are doing great, noble acts who deserve an Oscar, but will probably not get one. We have all heard about these people – the families who choose to adopt, those who choose to give up their life savings to charity, and those countless people who help people in silent ways, the people that make the world work better, but we never know who they are. They don’t get the national telecast on prime time television or the public praise, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t making an impact on someone’s life.
But they do these things without expectation and maybe that is the lesson I need to learn, that validation comes from the act itself, not from the praise.