Less (ego) is more (people)
Experience shows that awarding people prizes is fraught with dangers. Maybe we need new rules to prevent giving honors to people who hurt others, hurting the people they hurt. Here are some new rules I propose:
1. Only honor people who are long dead. Then they can’t add something bad to their record and skeletons should have left their closets.
2. Stop honoring rich people without thinking about how they amassed all that money. They may’ve done some good things with part of the money but was it theirs? And, financial success doesn’t equal moral victory.
3. Stop honoring people as if there are superior and inferior people. Start honoring deeds by people without claiming they were complete saints.
4. Reserve accolades for funerals and also there, be very cautious with your praises. So say that the diseased can still hear and hearing falsehood used to praise him is a terrible embarrassment in the world of truth.
5. Stop all Greek competing: everyone against all others, one winner, the rest loses. Replace by Jewish competition: everyone against their old self, all can be winners. In group sports, each team is obligated to ensure that each duel ends with an equal score or both parties are disqualified.
6. Honor teachers by disagreeing with, adding to, or applying their lessons, not by praising them. We need more humility, truth, holiness. Not more ego. And less absolute judgment (condemnation and commendation). A personal “I like that you …” is much better. Our best reward is not when we had what’s considered success but when we know we did our best.
7. Stop rewarding and punishing people (kids!). Don’t hand out prizes. Say: I like what you did but I bought you a present because I love you.
Gone will be royalty and paparazzi! Gone will be the Nobel Prizes and honorary doctorates! Gone will be philanthropy done in public (and flattery of the rich)! Gone will be live superheroes! Gone will be exorbitant expectations, jealousy, and ordinary people falling from their pedestal!
True, some people contribute more and give more leadership than others. But if that’s what they’re capable of, that’s exactly what they should do to end up being equal to people who did less with less talent or opportunity.