From time to time we hear people talk about equality. I think equality is a nice idea, if it is used to express the thought that every person is valuable, solely based on their existence. To say that every person is equally valuable in terms of their contributions to society, to projects, or to the universe is easily disproven. To say that each person is equal in their abilities, gifts, talents or acquired skills is absurd and not worth the time it would take to disprove. However, to say that we value each person highly, that we desire them to feel loved, welcome and important to us, this is something worthwhile.
Let’s try not to mix these things up. If/when we do, we run the risk of becoming what Kurt Vonnegut feared and described in his poignant short story, Harrison Bergeron. If you have never read it, please take a minute to do so. I think you will enjoy and appreciate it.
I don’t think it is elitist to say that one person is better at a specific skill. I also think it is completely appropriate to reward quality. Effort is important, and I would like to honor good effort as well, but perhaps in a different way.
What confuses me at times are the people who say that we should never give a special honor to people who contribute their time, efforts, and skills, and that we should never give an extra special honor to those to excel while doing so. I disagree. Merit should be rewarded with thanks and recognition. These are not the motivating forces behind the majority of people who do things well, but everyone appreciates it when their good work is recognized.
Do you have someone you would like to honor? Please do so.