Brownie points

Its nice to be recognised. My daughter came back from school today and said “I got lots of ‘good girls’ today”. It turned out that she had done well in maths working out a code. No, not a re-enactment of the enigma, but a puzzle where she had to work out what number the triangle and square shapes equated to, to make a number total. She enjoys learning and even maths – they teach it differently in school now. The process is made to be fun as well as getting the answer right. Teachers think laterally now these days and are more creative about conveying knowledge. Gone are the days of staring at text books and work sheets.

One day my daughter came back from school and when I asked her how her day had been she replied “brilliant”. I was bowled over by this genuinely enthusiastic response that I emailed the Headmaster a thank you in the hope that her teacher would get a brownie point too.

As an adult it is nice to be recognised for some good work. I didn’t do too badly last week and got a pat on the back from my boss this morning. Sometimes it is nice to feel that you are needed or are helpful no matter how small, or even how big, you are in an organisation.

Those at the top find it hardest as they have no-one above them to hand down the praise. I guess it must just come from seeing a business thriving, happy customers or whatever else an organisation is trying to achieve.

Others don’t need a pat on the back – the results speak for themselves. Such as a care worker who finds her patient is happier since receiving her care. Those who impact directly on people’s lives reap the biggest rewards. They also tend to be the people who take their work home with them when things don’t quite go so well.

For example, my friend’s brother is a heart surgeon and he was trying to resuscitate the heart of a 3 year old boy whose rib cage had caved in when the top of a concrete bird bath fell on his chest. All children are precious, however this little boy was an only child and the result of IVF. He tried desperately to get the little heart going again but it was just too much for the body to fight back from his injuries. Sadly he had to admit the boy was dead. What happened next was, I’m told, one of the biggest mistakes a surgeon can make when operating on a patient. He looked into the boys eyes and saw a life now gone. He also saw in those eyes the hopes of the boys’ parents dashed and the pain of the boys’ grandparents, who had been caring for the boy when he bumped into the bird bath.

The greatest reward is life, particularly helping to preserve the life of a child.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef to help protect vulnerable children world-wide. If you would like to help, please visit my page on the Unicef website.

Thanks for reading.



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