Saturday, February 6, 2016

What's in an Order?

I'd like to take a break from my regular crafting posts to talk about a subject I find important. I was having a discussion with a Peer of the Realm, the content of which is irrelevant at this point. In that conversation, we realized that a person we both felt was beyond deserving of a particular award, had not received said award. The conversation went something like this:
Peer: Wait does [person] have their [award]?
Olivia: Yes. I'm sure they do. Do they? It's not listed on the OP. Let me check the Wiki. No, it's not their either. And they keep their page very up to date.
Peer: How is that possible? I was sure they had their [award] years ago.
As I delved further into the matter, I discovered that the person in question was not well-liked by enough of the order to receive the support for the award. This, my friends, I find disconcerting. While the person in question can be quite abrasive at times, there is no denying, they are deserving of the award, based on the standards presented on the East Kingdom website. 

The more I thought about this, the more I thought about another conversation I had a year or so ago regarding someone who was receiving an award. This conversation went something like this:
Person A: Did you know [person B] is receiving their [award] at [event]?
Olivia: Oh? I didn't hear. That's wonderful! And certainly well deserved!
Person A: Uh, really? But they don't do anything to deserve [award]. They just do [thing].
Olivia: Actually, if you really look at what they do, they do [thing], [other thing], [another thing], [one more thing], and all of that is on top of the [thing] you mentioned. Given the parameters of [award], they're well within what is considered deserving.
Person A: Oh, yeah, I guess. I didn't really think about that. I just...well, I had a bad experience with [person] and I guess that sort of sways my opinion.
Now, to be clear, we're not talking about Peerages here. We're not talking about an award that requires specific personality traits to be found deserving. We are talking about Kingdom-level awards, which are typically presented based on merit, experience, etc. 

So, then, why? Why are so many of us so focused on our personal feelings that we would withhold an award from a deserving person? By the same token, when we do have strong negative feelings about people, why are we not keeping our personal feelings out of the discussion? These are merit-based awards. They should have very little to do with how well a person is liked. 

To that end, I ask you to truly consider each nominee based upon their merit. How is a particular award recipient defined? Does the nominee fit those parameters? If you don't feel the person is deserving of an award, is this because their work is truly not befitting? If you have a negative opinion of a person, is this truly the time to air those grievances? 

We should always remember, the words we use toward those not in our favor are a direct reflection upon ourselves.