Every year, I look forward to the Oscars. I like learning about the latest fashions, keeping up with the stars’ ever-changing pairings (and uncouplings) and dishing the dirt about who did and did not give a great speech. All of this is in the service of fun and good old-fashioned entertainment.
But what I never expected from an evening at the Academy Awards was an exquisite example of appreciation in action — but that’s just what I got earlier this year and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since.
Whoever had the stroke of genius to have five previous winners from the categories of Best Supporting Actor and Actress and Best Actor and Actress stand on stage and present a one-on-one acknowledgement to the nominees in their category deserves a standing ovation themselves.
Both the way the recognition was given and the way it was received was moving. From iconic Shirley Maclaine’s authentic appreciation of Anne Hathaway’s singing voice (who knew she had that Broadway sound?) to impenetrable Robert De Niro’s light-hearted teasing of macho man Sean Penn, we, the audience, got to see a rare display of a private and intimate moment of recognition, played out in a very public forum.
But instead of feeling like a voyeur, on the outside looking in, these appreciations make us feel like part of the process. This is the power of true recognition — it has a universal quality. You don’t need to be Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin or Mickey Rourke to feel the impact that real acknowledgement has, and while you may have to deliver your appreciations sans designer ball gowns and glittery jewels, they can none the less sparkle with heartfelt authenticity.
Check out the blog next week to learn five ways you can give the gift of appreciation.
Please note that the information in this article is copyrighted by Karen Leland. If you would like to reprint any of it on your blog or website you are welcome to do so, provided you give credit and a live link back to this posting.
Karen Leland is the bestselling author of six books including Time Management In An Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day. She is the co-founder of Sterling Consulting Group, which helps organizations and individuals learn how to fight distraction and find their focus in a wired world. For more information please contact: [email protected]