Monday Motivation: Honors
Monday Motivations have, since their inception, been intended to help Bullies keep or regain focus on our goals, bolster resolve, or just to face the week ahead with our chins tucked and our hands up.
Unlike a lot of the other content around here, which is written on-the-spot, and in response to a current event, we've got a few of these in the queue. But this is something that I personally came across this morning, and felt it was important to share.
Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's shares his thoughts on the subject of Honors. And our question to you, is this:
What motivates you; is it because of your innate need to push forward and make things happen, or because you want other people to recognize you for doing so?
Think about it for a few minutes. I suspect that people who understand and are honest with themselves about what motivates them are able to enjoy their accomplishments much more than those who aren't exactly aware of why they're doing what they're doing.
Whether you're doing it for praise, recognition, or for your own sense of accomplishment, you should always know why you're doing anything.
At the very core of my training is an understanding that one day I will be gone and won't see my daughter again. I realized when she was born that I had to make serious changes lifestyle wise. It's small victories over my old shitty ways that makes me hungry for more. For example, I had a test in Muay Thai that pushed me the hardest since I started eight months ago. I wanted to die during those three hours and in the end I survived. I got a certificate and t-shirt yet I thought "Who cares? I'm still me, just a slightly healthier version." Next day it was my first Judo class, as sore as I was I couldn't wait to jump in. The people there are so unbelievably fucking cool that I all I can think about is class next sunday. Which is bad because I have a Psych 101 test this week, focus man...focus. To sum it up, atheism drives me. I want to experience as much as possible before I "roll a seven" so to speak. I love my daughter, I spend as much time as possible with her. I love the direction things have been going healthwise, that's what keeps me going back for more. Rank doesn't mean **** to me personally, it's learning a new technique and perfecting it that really makes me feel alive.
A thought-provoking piece, Mr Phrosty, thanks for posting.
Honours. Hmm. Well, Mr Feynman's principle is a good one to keep in Mind: though I feel sure that he would want an Acknowledgement by anyone who profited his Discovery
The Royal Wedding is a good example. Prince William is wearing the Uniform of a Full Colonel in the Irish Guards. He has the buttons in sets of 4, the Shamrock on the collar - in Gold Thread to distinguish him as an Officer, and Crown and two pips on his Epaulette to show his colonelcy. Did he earn any of it? No. It's an Honourary Position. I won't digress further.
The chap holding the door for Kate is a Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Regimental Sergeant Major in the Coldstream Guards. Again, it's the insignia. White Band on Cap, Regimental Crest, Buttons on jacket in sets of 2, Royal Cypher on his Upper Right Arm.
With officers, the clue is the more Gold Braid, the higher. Gold Thread for soldiers? No. They are introduced though for Sergeants. With Army Officers, they show Red Tabs on the collar to indicate Staff (the managers of the Army). This is also true of the Royal Marines.
Medals for Gallantry. These can be peace time or war time. They are based on the likelihood of you dying in the process of your bravery - which generally has to be witnessed. You can be brave without ever anyone knowing it - so you'll never get a medal. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did the right thing. This alludes to Feynmann.
You can also be given a Decoration for the bravery of others. For example, your soldiers drive off the enemy while you sleep through the attack. (I was told this by a former RSM).
The norm in Britain was that Officers got "Crosses" and "Orders" while the Sergeants and soldiers got "Medals". Class snobbery, really. Under John Major some equality was introduced so soldiers have started to receive the Military Cross (MC) whereas previously they MIGHT have won the Military Medal (MM). Guess which looks smarter?
For Official Decorations excluding Gallantry, there was a similar distinction. The 'Right People' got CBEs, OBEs, MBEs, the 'Great Unwashed' (us lesser mortals) MIGHT have got the BEM (British Empire MEDAL). Again, under John Major, an attempt have been made to 'equalise' so the BEM is largely obsolete.
The documentation that underpins all this, is quite specific and must be followed. A misplaced dot and uncrossed 't' can rule you out by scrutineers. So, again, you might be thoroughly deserving but you can be ruled out for a minor breach of the Application protocol. By the Way, the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) was usually served for Full Colonel. Informally, it was known as being awarded for Other Buggers Efforts. I knew a Full Colonel who won the OBE during the Falklands for support work back in London. He admitted he knew eff-all as to why he'd got it as he'd only just taken over and the major work had been done by my then Boss (a Lieutenant Colonel). I won't divert further.
When all is said and done, you can be extremely GRAND with all manner of medals and gold braid but to a doctor, you're just another human being in need of medical assessment or treatment. Remember, Accident & Emergency (Casualty) treat on the basis of Medical Need.
In MA, you're just another bloke in the street with a niche skill. You may be far from Perfect as aspirations to full status as a sentient human being with concerns for others.
We are hierarchical creatures. Always have been...always will be. Fortunately, western civilization in general and (to blow our own horn) the "idea" of America in particular, allows us earn, get elected to, or work towards a higher rung in the ladder if we so choose.
I just enjoy myself. I don't burden myself with the fact that I suck. Perhaps I'll never be more than a walking human punching bag, but I'm healthy and happy and that's worth to continue.
In other fields of life I kind'a have the same philosophy.
Thanks for the perspective. I am currently questioning what my commitment to martial arts will be. I know what it has been in the past, but actually asking your question of why I train will help me figure out what I am willing to give and then actually enjoy giving it.
That is incorrect. You will find a few well-funtioning non-hierarchical cultures in the history of mankind - Göritz-people, the San (aka Bushmen), some classic greek Poleis, and some native-american tribes for example. Furthermore, many more cultures had hierarchies only in terms of special competence (e.g. the best carpenter had the last word in carpenting but nowhere else).
Originally Posted by tgace
The main problem I see about the kind of hierarchy we are speaking of is the fact that the usage of hierarchic position is utterly perverted: hierarchical position does not come from competence any more, but competence (and honor) is falsely attributed to those in said position.
Take the british royal family: They are born in a position of (albeit reduced) power, not because they proved to be good at holding political power.
Same in the USA and most democracies: someone who becomes President will not do so because he/she is the most competent candidate, but because he is born in a family which has the best connections and financial power and proves to be the best actor/liar (you wouldn´t win an election by stating facts and offering viable solutions).
Same in better paid job-life and even more in academia: honors are given not to those who are best and most competent, but to the best lickspittle and opportunist.
And just that makes those kind of honors utterly worthless.
Furhtermore, they´re just an ego-thing only insecure people strifing for affirmation long for. And they are a tool to control and exploit those kind of people.
If you do something, do it because you like it - or the effects of it - not because to get fake respect and confirmation to prove your self-worth, such kind of behaviour is utterly childish.