Is Recognition A Present In The Present?

Alan Alda (on left) and unknown man modeling "Being Present In The Present!"

When you want recognition, what do you do? When you want attention, what do you do? You DO want recognition and/or, perhaps, attention, at least once in a while, don’t you? In case you are one of the few who don’t, then please use your best empathetic thinking to think about recognition/attention and those who want it.:-)

Yea, graduation gave us much needed recognition!

As I think about recognition and attention, the first thing that comes to mind is the strong desire children have for it. Is it recognition or attention, that children have a strong desire for? What’s the difference? Of course, you the reader, can direct your browser to the two hyperlinks in the previous sentence in order to read a Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of each. But, what are the differences to those of us who do not always refer directly to a dictionary for the meaning of words?

I have got an idea - You recognize me and I feel I have your attention!

Here’s one way of discerning the difference between recognition and attention. Consider little children who seem to want attention more than recognition. They will misbehave, whine, throw a tantrum, etc. When they act inappropriately in that manner, do they want attention or recognition? Well, I guess they want you to give them recognition so they have attention. :-) When you recognize them, they feel they have your attention.

How about adults? Do they have the same needs children do? Yes, I think so. On the other hand, they usually don’t act out in the same way. Instead of misbehaving, whining, and throwing a tantrum, they will become withdrawn and apathetic. This is what happens in a lot of relationships. Little recognition and/or attention results in one or more members of the relationship becoming withdrawn. Then, of course, there is less relating and less attention and less relating and less attention, and ….

Performing can get you recognition.

So what’s an easy way to solve the problem of too little attention or recognition in a relationship? One small and simple way to help with the problem is to adopt the “lesson” behind a very simple statement. Following the message of this statement, assures that you are giving attention and recognition. What is the simple statement, you ask? It is: “Be Present In The Present!” How do you do this? Well, when you are with the people you are relating with, actively look at and listen to them. Simple? Perhaps, it depends upon your attitude. “To change everything, simply change your attitude.”

Focusing on recognition, is it considered to be an important thing to give in today’s world? I  think so and in order to verify its importance, consider the number of different “recognitions” that are given. For example, we recognize people for almost all aspects of life. We give recognition based on: birthdays, scholarship, acting, service, marriage, accomplishment, status, diplomacy, appearance, performing, membership, motivation, wealth, and employment, just to name a few. I think we, as social animals, have an innate need to receive recognition.

Mary Kay Ash - “There are two things people want more than sex and money... recognition and praise.”

William James, an American psychologist and philosopher, once wrote: “What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise – although the philosophers generally call it ‘recognition’!” I suppose we could add the word praise as another basic or innate need. But, perhaps Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, explained the need for attention best when she said, “There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise.” If we adopt the habit of being present in the present, each of us, individually, will be giving others something that they naturally want and need – recognition.

Is recognition a present in the present? YES!

Be present in the present!

*Simple? Yes!

**Easy? Perhaps!

***Worthwhile for a healthy relationship with our fellow humans? Absolutely!

Please consider giving me a present by presenting me with a comment in the present. :-)

5 Comments on “Is Recognition A Present In The Present?”

  1. So you wrote this Post to be recognized and get attention, correct, Ron?

    Just kidding!

    Sometimes getting attention will trigger others to do good things. I’m specifically thinking of Ted Turner, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. They’ve made a decision not to be the wealthiest person in the graveyard and are trying to get others to be as philanthropic as they are.

    Sometimes, as in giving blood or platelets, the donor will never know the recipient and likes it that way. For many who do things like this, the giving is its own reward. They don’t need, nor necessarily want, attention and recognition.


  2. Fred, thanks for the thoughtful comment. Your examples are excellent and provide a different point of view from my post. I wish I would have included your point, but this show the value of comments — with each one, the post gets “richer.” :-)


  3. Hey Ron:

    You may already know about this site but just in case you don’t…….

    Check out the website It’s free! You can write your book as an “ebook” or as a “self improvement book” and have it sold on on demand so you don’t have to put up any front money or try to figure out a way to get a distributor to handle your book(s). If you use to do this, they even give you a free ISPN which is the Bar Code (on the back of each book) that is registered with The Library of Congress.

    I know you are busy, but please take 15 minutes to check this out if you haven’t already.

    Soon you will be able to get my “Baby Jade” books on (Amazon takes 40% up front when a book is sold; or on iBookstore (Apple takes
    30% upfront when a book is sold). You don’t have to buy a minimum supply of books that take up space in your house; when a book is sold, it comes from or downloaded from iBookstore; you set the price for your book, they advertise it and your book can be ordered at all major book stores.

    You can add to your credetials “published author”.

    I sent a similar post like this to my son, Mike Wilkerson. Both of you write so well and I would love to see your “messages” available to the masses!


  4. On the cartoon about the new graduates you might want to change the spelling of gradation to graduation.


  5. Renee – Thanks for the comment about writing a book. It’s very flattering to have you suggest that I write well enough to warrant having a book published that contains my writing. I have thought about doing so, but you’re comment really helps with my intellectual confidence. I often struggle with the play between confidence and humility. Also, I sincerely appreciate you pointing out my spelling error.

    I wish you the best with your new book. I agree with you, that Mike writes very well and I would love to see him publish a book. Thanks again and best regards.



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