The Academy Awards are on tonight, which means fashion statements, pun-ny presenters and acceptance speeches. Some speeches are professional and polished, some are funny, some are painfully awkward and some go completely off the rails, but everyone who wins gives one. They thank their team of agents, managers, etc. They thank their co-workers, their mentors, their families and (at least some of them) God.
Perhaps we should start expecting acceptance speeches in everyday life. It would be a great spiritual practice in gratitude and appreciation. Whenever we achieve something–from getting a new job, to scoring high on the ACT test, to winning the tournament, to receiving a raise–we should make an acceptance speech. It wouldn’t have to be long or fancy or terribly polished. Just a simple statement acknowledging that we didn’t do this on our own, and we appreciate those who helped us get here. Our team, our classmates, our co-workers, our friends, our family and, of course, God.
The more I think about this, the more I like the idea. A community of people who realize that none of us are completely “self-made.” People who realize that with every accolade we receive, there’s someone (or many ones) hanging out in the wings who had a hand in it. A community of people who are recognized for their contributions, and therefore feel appreciated and valuable. People who pause to thank not only people, but God, for the good things that come our way, the wins we celebrate and the successes we enjoy.
That sounds like a pretty good world to me. Start working on those speeches. Let’s do it.