Award Show for the Rest of Us: The Norm Awards

The Norm Awards for ordinary people living extraordinary lives

Awards season is almost over. The season really wears on me each year.  I feel like each category should get a shot –

  1. Awards Show for Movies
  2. Awards Show for Television
  3. Awards Show for Music
  4. (And an awards show for Sports – if we absolutely must)

That’s it.  But no.  There are several iterations of each.  And in most years, these shows dominate the news [thanks to a disastrous presidential primary season that is not the case this year].  Then the shows dominate prime-time television [if you are actually still beholden to live television, which my family is not].

Many years ago I decided that I would not watch these shows – I find them to be informative to a degree.  Like a quick filter of the movies that a small group of people were interesting from a given year.  Although I generally find that the winners do not necessarily make it to my viewing list for a number of reasons – mostly length, so many of them are too long for parents of small children that awake at 5:30am every single day.

I think I would be more inclined to watch the shows (again, if they were pared down to just a few) if there were also a show honoring “normal, ordinary” people.  To that end, I propose The Norm Awards.  The Norm Awards would honor the normal, everyday people that really are the backbone of the country.  So what categories am I thinking about?

Outstanding First Responder:  this award would go to an individual who not only puts his or her life on the lines for others in their work life, but also goes above and beyond to apply these skills to benefit those in their community in their personal life.  Know anyone like that?  I do.

Inspiring Teacher:  this award would go to an inspiring teacher that not only puts his or her heart into teaching students in the classroom, but looks for opportunities to build students up outside of the classroom as well.  How many teachers have you known that do this and more?

Extraordinary Youth Volunteer:  the award for a mom, dad, or adult that passionately dedicates his or her free time to encouraging children and/or teenagers by volunteering time toward developing the next generation – often staying dedicated to a particular organization for many years.  My mom did this for a group of my friends through Girl Scouts – leading us for 12 years.  Volunteering time with any group for 12 years is commendable, but given the task of organizing cookie sales (for an entire county), camping out, cooking on a fire, driving screaming girls all over the state and region to earn badges, and generally dealing with screaming girls — that calls for an award.  Did you have someone like this in your life?

All Star Parenteither you are one or know one that deserves this award.  I have a friend at work, who deserves this award.  After working a stressful job, she spends many evenings and most weekends supporting her daughters by taking them to sports activities.  Sports is their passion – and though she does not have much free time (at all), she supports their passion by ensuring that they participate in every activity possible to develop their skills and love for sports.

Awesome Animal Advocatethis award is for those that go above and beyond to support the health and wellness of animals.  I love animals, but I typically stay away from them – I have always had this slight fear of animals – though I loved our Maggie dearly (even when she snipped at our fingers).  I am amazed by the people that I read about or meet that sacrifice their own well-being so that they can provide food for a foster pet or ensure that a sick animal gets the treatment necessary to extend or improve their life.

Super Sandwich Caregiver:  this awkwardly named award goes out to an individual of my parents’ generation (or possibly Generation X) that are often in the middle of caring for their own parents, while still caring for their own children or even grandchildren.  I have met many people that are juggling their own careers, their children’s schedules, and trying to determine the best care resources or treatment plan for their own parents.  That’s a lot to handle.  Have you seen someone like this?

Please note that Low Key was really hoping that this would be an award for an actual sandwich maker or burritos.  He loves them both.

Single Parent Superstarthis is the award that goes to an individual who through any number of events has found himself or herself in a situation of raising and providing for his or her children.  A few years ago, I worked with someone who had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer.  He passionately supported his family and fought for his health until the end.  However, in the end, his wife was left with two young children to raise.  She could have sat in dismay, but instead she remained strong and encouraging for her kids.

Open Heart Champion:  this is the award for adoptive parents – those that open their hearts and homes to children, who for any number of reasons cannot remain with their birth parents.  Whether they are children from 5,000 miles away or 5 miles away, adoptive parents ensure that many have a safe and loving environment in which to grow up.  I know several that have opened their hearts and homes.  What about you?

Adversity Award:  this is the award that goes to an individual who has over come adversity – illness, a tragic accident, economic setback, or other event.  It is hard to imagine that you do not know a few people that deserve this award.  I think of my brother, who was in a car accident and lost his right leg above the knee.  Rather than give up or settle, he consistently pushes himself harder than most anyone I know.  He now helps other as an emergency air flight nurse.  Is there anyone that you know that deserves an award for overcoming adversity?

The number of awards that everyday, ordinary, normal people deserve could go on and on – not that different from the numerous celebrity award shows.  However, the fact of the matter is our culture will probably never insist on such a show.

Instead, how about we as one of the ordinary people in this country – one that needs a bit of positivity – go look for those that deserve awards and give them a thanks for their example or encouraging words to continue doing what they are doing?  A small thing, but often simple words can be powerful.

Who do you know in your life that deserves an award?


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