Sunday, January 9, 2022

A New Project

I look forward to the future when I'll have more time and opportunity to pursue projects that matter to me. I'm developing an idea for one now and could use your help.

One benefit of being old is you've seen society act in different ways than it does now. For example, when I was growing up, driving drunk wasn't punished or even considered wrong; it was simply a joke since most adults drank and all of them drove afterward. Nobody got arrested for it. My father was a cop and he said his job was to escort drunks home, not criticize them.

We live in a strange age. One change over the past half-century that bothers me is a shift in the concept of "celebrity." In the past, to become famous you had to have done something valuable, like cure polio. Now fame is bestowed on third-rate television actors or, worse, Internet players who deploy low-rent gimmicks to gain attention. Granting acclaim to such people seems wrong, especially since others striving for and achieving more important goals go unlauded.

So one project I want to do in the future is to find ways to celebrate ordinary people for wonderful things they do. Elevate them from obscurity instead of rewarding jerks who act foolishly simply for attention.

As a beginning of this project, I'm curious about people's uncelebrated talents, efforts and goals. What do you do that makes you proud? What do you do that you wish others applauded or at least acknowledged? I'm asking about anything, not just things society views as worthy. 

For example, are you a good mother? Or do you try to be a good friend to others? Or do you experiment with fashion and create stylish outfits? Can you cook a nice meal? Do you craft up a storm? Anything you believe has value has, in my opinion, reason to celebrate. What is it?

Don't be shy or humble; share with us so I can figure out ways to promote the good people like you do.


  1. It's hard to brag about the good things we do, Ally. I know that my dressing up, shopping with others, giving away my clothes, and even things like doing my art and sharing my mental health challenges - they all make a positive difference to others. But I don't really need to be acknowledged for that on a big "celebrity" scale. It's enough that I'm appreciated in my small life.

    1. Thank you for listing your admirable efforts, Sheila. While you "don't really need to be acknowledged for that" because you're humble (another positive trait), I believe you should be applauded for your activities. Good people like you deserve credit -- and I'd like to midwife such acclaim. That, to me, would make the world a fairer place.

  2. "Anything you believe has value has, in my opinion, reason to celebrate. What is it?"

    I think the ability to listen, to actually pay full attention when someone is taking to you is a skill we can all learn and perhaps celebrate.

    IMO, it's not about hearing the words, but focusing on how they are being said, the body language, and facial expressions that go with it. No multitasking, phone scrolling, and if you can, try not to think of what you need to say. Plus, if you are unsure about a statement or feel yourself starting to react, ask the person what they mean by their phrase. It seems conflict often comes from misunderstanding as much as anything else.

    Good luck with your project. 🙂

    1. Very good! Sadly most people don't listen. They just think about what they're gonna say next and wait for the chance, which makes real communication impossible. This is an excellent point I plan to incorporate. Thanks, Lynn.

  3. Good post Ally.

    I get what you're saying about the so called 'celebrities' of today. Sadly this is the world we now live in.

    I don't have anything to brag about myself but I do know that I've always been a good Husband to my Wife and a good Father to my children providing for them and being there for them when they need me. I have always shown them love and affection and in return I know that they love me very much.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your project.

    1. Helping one's family is valuable work. My mother ran an extended family like Stalin ran Russia and made everyone their best. After she passed away, they devolved into the trash they actually were.

  4. What a wonderful idea.

    An IG account called Upworthy does a bit of this. They have told all kinds of stories about regular people and helped them out as well.

    I'm a pretty creative person all around and I strive to be the kind of friend I want to have.


    1. That's the impulse I'm following; glad to hear others are doing it too.

      Your creativity is extraordinary! As are your efforts toward friendship.

  5. I've been a mother to 4 kids and 3 have mental health disabilities. I often wonder how this happened to me, or why? Anyway, I totally agree with your thoughts on what's popular now and how little talent or substance it seems to contain. I sometimes wonder if it's a symptom of being over bread or over crowded, but who knows. I just sit here and imagine how many unsung heroes are in every household on my block and I don't even know any of them very well.

    1. My hat is off to you. One explanation for why some folks like you carry heavy burdens is because you can; weaker people would have fled them. What you're doing is praiseworthy. Thanks for sharing.

  6. There are so many people I meet who do amazing things.
    There's a HLTA at my school (higher level teaching assistant) who is going to be retiring soon but she does so many things within our school- she has tirelessly purchased the milk for the staffroom for the last 4-5 years or so and all the tea making things like tea bags, coffee and sugar. I honestly don't think a lot of the staff knows she does it. One day, one of the learning mentors discovered there was no coffee granules and had a massive moan about it. I said to her, "You do realise that K buys it and doesn't get paid to do it, nobody thanks her and if it's not there, it's a mere oversight and perhaps we shouldn't get cross about it,"-she was really grateful for me defending her. She is always willing to help, does so much, she does loads of little and big things in school and as well as that, she rushes home from school to go and pick up her grandchildren after a full day and looks after them till their parents are home from work and in the holidays, always spends a lot of time looking after them. She makes lunch for her husband AND her son and grandchildren (despite the fact that they live in their own house with their own family) and I think she is amazing. Likewise, there are lot of Teaching assistants at my school who muck in and do lots of extra things unasked for. A lot of the young and popular new ones wouldn't do anything extra for anyone and resent being asked to do anything extra which is a shame as I really look up to those older staff and value what they do.

    There's lots of people in churches I go to who do loads of extra things. A lovely 70-80 year old lady used to run the Friday lunch club for pensioners for years, making soup and chilli and all sorts of meals for older people in the community and there's quite a few who are running food banks for people in need. Even those tireless people who make the teas and coffees for other people- they are the unsung heroes. I get the glamorous job of playing my flute for services and everyone always thanks me for it, but the unglamorous jobs get overlooked.

    There's lots of community groups that do things for people. There's a gardening group in a nearby town to me that plants edible food in the library gardens that people are free to pick (and an 80 year old family friend does that in Hexham- Edible Hexham and IncredibleLoS) and they run gardening sessions for people to join in with. My grandad taught beekeeping in a school local to him until he was 91!

    Part 2 coming...apparently, my comment is too long so I am splitting it in two! Blogger, you are so mean!

    1. EXACTLY!! This is what I'm saying -- too many unsung heroes make the world better but don't get recognition or applause. These are the people I want to celebrate. Thank you for your wonderful stories.

      And you're also right about local groups. Whenever I go to a group of enthusiasts about something (motorcycling, photography, art) I find people EAGER to help newbies with selfless time and effort. They even wish they could help more people than they do. I respect that impulse.

  7. Hmm, what do I do that is worthwhile? I'm not sure.
    I know, as I've said above, that when I play my flute at church, everyone always says it's a blessing and they love it but I've not done it as much recently.
    My old friend Lydia told me I am a good listener. People are willing to open up to me because I give them that opening. I'm a good listener and I am willing to empathise and listen to people and say the right things they need to feel encouraged and like they make sense and like they're not crazy or wrong (people often feel this). I'm always willing to chat to people- anytime we have anyone new at school, no matter what level they are at, I always talk to them, smile and make them feel welcome, student teachers or visitors.
    I also like to think I am good at doing things re the environment and talking to people about them- there's always an eco-dialogue in school, (I take home all the recycling in my bike pannier and on the trains to put in my own recycling bin at home). I talk to the children daily about it- when they ask why their music worksheet has a maths sheet on the back of it, I always tell them that I like to save trees and recycle so I go down everyone's recycling bin and save good quality paper which is only printed on one side- I then put it into the photocopier when I copy's a small seed to put an idea in their heads but I reckon that small action I do saves about 3000 pieces of paper a year!)
    A parent who was a volunteer in school told me that her son used to come home and talk about me about what I was wearing- perhaps quirky outfits and novelty clothing interest children?

    Apart from that though, I would like to do more for my community.
    What about YOU Ally, what would you like to do or what do you think YOUR special underrated skills are? I would say you are very astute and you know how to give a kind compliment in a really sincere way that identifies really clearly how someone has done something special. I will never forget that wonderful Bloggy you awarded me and what a sweet thing it was that you sent me that lovely trophy and prize and all the lovely post you sent me in Lockdown. You also have a wonderful assurance about your skills and attributes and manage to convey them in a way that is inspiring and sensitive, many people with your atttributes would come across as arrogant and probably BE arrogant but not you.

    1. YOU! There's a reason you're my friend: you possess these wonderful qualities you describe. Of course it's nice to have musical ability but even more valuable are interpersonal skills. Being empathetic and compassionate are talents I hold in high esteem. I know you have them even though we've never met in person; they just come across.

      Thank you for the nice compliments. I believe you're right and what I want to do with my future time is deploy those skills outward as much as possible. I want to improve the world in ways that I can. I have strong points and weak ones so I'll concentrate on the things I do best. Big hug!

    2. You are so sweet! Likewise, why I value you!
      By the way, I forgot to say that I also really can't stand this low rent style of celebrity! Especially people with no talent, especially those who boast about how awful they were at school and what a pain they were and how they learnt nothing when they were probably complete and utter toads!

    3. I totally agree with you on this. It debases the very notion of celebrity and reduces it to mere notoriety.

  8. How right you are, Ally. I have reflected at sizable length on this very subject before, too (re: the slapdash way the term and concept of being a celebrity is brandied about these days) and would, personally, like to see a greater return to its earlier use and application in regards to those who were, sometimes at least, more worthy of the limelight.

    Your project is profoundly kind and beautiful. I struggle beyond struggle to promote myself or to toot my own horn (sometimes to the point where not doing so actually works against me in various settings/situations), so answering your question with even just a single entry or two is does not come easily.

    Humbly, a couple of things that spring to mind first are the fact that I always try to be incredibly compassionate and emphatic, as well as that I am very good at stretching a dollar to its breaking point and then some.

    This, I believe, was borne from growing up in financially challenging circumstances and of never, at any point in my life, knowing anything even remotely close to economic stability (in part because the severity and scope of being a multi-chronic illness fighter for the entirety of my adult life has not, thus far at least, allowed me to generate the sort of income that would be able to turn that statement around). Thankfully though, I love being financially responsible and often enjoy the challenge of finding bargains, being extremely mindful of my/our spending, and living a humble life where experiences, relationships, nature, creativity (including writing/blogging), my spirituality, and the mere act of being alive trump money - at least sometimes and in certain situations.

    Another, less serious point is that I also have this really cool ability where - much as some folks are able to play a song after hearing just a few bars of it - I can usually replicate just about any dish after having eaten a single bit or two of it.

    Again, you - and this caring, awesome idea - are the epitome of lovely and I just know you are going to touch, brighten and better many peoples' existences by bringing it to fruition.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life