I didn’t watch the Oscars on Sunday because, frankly, awards infrequently go to the people who really deserve them. If you ask me, there’s far too much hoopla over the “actor” in people and far too little concentration on the character in people. Millions of people tune in to watch millions of dollars spent on recognizing someone for how he or she acts, not on what he or she does; or what kind of impact he or she makes; or even what kind of virtuous life each leads. The rewards should go to the individuals on the front lines of life’s real battles––those who stand in the face of adversity, those whose integrity continue to shine even under the harshest of conditions, those whose values and standards don’t change with the direction of the wind. People like parents, pastors, believers, teachers, politicians (NOT!), nurses, doctors, the real heroes––not people who just play them on TV. I’m referring to people who use their lives to elevate others, not people who use others to elevate their own lives. (And, no, this ain’t a bitter tirade because neither Brad nor Angelina won the Oscar––give me a break).
And the Oscar goes to . . .
My dad and mom,
Robert and Marlene Shaw
Married for 38 years, they have always set a great example for my brother and I, and it’s certainly not because of a lack of adversity. They have had their share of hardships from times of unemployment and near-poverty, to a cancer that threatened the life of my father (he is a 10-year survivor by the grace of God), to a disabling physical condition that would not keep my dad from becoming a certified lifeguard, to who knows what other trials they stood tall through, at least by appearance in order to hold it together for us kids.
Well, a coworker of mine (thanks Annette) taught me that it’s far more important to celebrate your parents on your birthday than to celebrate yourself. After all, how much did you really have to do with your birthday? Sure, you were there for the conception but without your mom and dad meeting like they did . . . enough said!
Thanks Dad and Mom for bringing me into this world! To be only half the parent that you are would be a noble accomplishment. I hope to make you proud by leaving a deep and lasting impression on this world that will shine a legacy of integrity into generations to come!