clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

We all want just a little recognition

Ever since I turned 60, a new word has been creeping into conversations with my wife.Retirement.It's not around the corner. But it is around the bend. And my \"jubilation\" (as they call retirement in Spanish) has my wife a bit worried.She says I get a lot of compliments for what I do, and she doesn't think she and the dog will be able to compliment me enough to make me happy when I retire.But I think they're up to it.Besides, I get my share of naysayers.Back when I was still reading the anonymous comments posted to my columns, I remember some were pretty brutal. They could make a guy feel like the brainless scarecrow in Oz with his stuffing kicked out.Fortunately, my massive ego was able to overcome the abuse.Still, my wife is right.Everybody does need to feel that what they're doing is worthwhile.I think that was the thought behind President Gordon B. Hinckley saying everyone in the LDS Church needs a friend and a job.And I think it's often the answer to that age-old question that LDS priesthood holders ask each other: \"Just what is it the sisters expect?\"Well, I think they expect the same things most of us do.They want to have others realize that what they say and do has value.They want to be acknowledged.When they do something creative — write a poem, paint a picture, design a space station — they want men to see it as more than a \"hobby.\" Creativity comes from the core. It's an expression of not only who we are, but of what makes us most human.They want us to see the meaning.They want us have a better sense of worth — a better gauge of what matters.Yet more than being acknowledged for the good things they do, people need to have their struggles and injuries, their failings and failures acknowledged as well.That's pretty much what Mother Teresa did on the streets of Calcutta. She went from one dying person to another and said in essence: \"You feel alone. You are suffering. But I am here and I am aware of you. I value who you are.\"It's also pretty much what the Good Samaritan was up to. He was paying attention to somebody.And, truth to tell, my wife and the dog do a great job of that. When I return home nicked and bruised from the battlefield, the first thing they do is pay attention to me. And that makes me feel less alone in my successes and failures.It doesn't take time or great skill.All it takes is focus.And in that regard, the two of them have nothing to worry about when I finally close up shop and head home.