(Warning. Long post BUT WORTH IT. If you skim, skip quoted bits.)
After my long rants previously about Attention, Recognition and context you would’ve thought I’d exhausted my thought supply for a while. But it’s still been percolating around in the background. There must’ve been a bit left undone or missing. It occured to me in a half-sleep state last night what that something was.
Recognition inherently involves another person.
(save the thought ‘connectedness’ for further down)
I returned to definitions:
# Attention or favorable notice: She received recognition for her many achievements.
n 1: the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged; “the partners were delighted with the recognition of their work”; “she seems to avoid much in the way of recognition or acknowledgement of feminist work prior to her own” [syn: acknowledgment, acknowledgement]
3: approval; “give her recognition for trying”; “he was given credit for his work”; “give her credit for trying”; “the credits were given at the end of the film” [syn: credit]
I explored the synonyms – Credit, Acknowledgement.
# An acknowledgment of work done, as in the production of a motion picture or publication. Often used in the plural: At the end of the film we stayed to watch the credits.
# 1. Official certification or recognition that a student has successfully completed a course of study: He received full credit for his studies at a previous school.
1. The act of admitting or owning to something.
2. Recognition of another’s existence, validity, authority, or right.
3. An answer or response in return for something done.
4. An expression of thanks or a token of appreciation.
5. A formal declaration made to authoritative witnesses to ensure legal validity.
Okay. So the point in all these definitions and their synonyms is that for something to be recognised someone has to recognise it. They all beg the question “recognised by WHOM?”
(I figure this may have been part of the confusion behind what I was trying to get at with my “mouse vs bluetooth headset” example on blobcast #2).
- Who do I really want recognition from?
- Who’s recognition would matter to me?
- Is recognition by peers more important than recognition by others?
- When I was a teenager who would I want to have acknowledgement from?
- Is there an aspect of self-recognition where I can give myself credit for something I’ve done?
These are the questions of the ‘WHO‘ is recognition coming from.
Answers to that question in this age of new media, digital, neo-community, postmodern relativism are not likely to come from, or if they are, necessarily be accepted, if coming from us oldies coming out of a seemingly comparitive pre-historic age.
This is the who.
Back in my first post about recognition, I was struck and perplexed by the biological definition. It at first seemed out of place, but it was I who was out of place, and I think it is this definition which holds a key (which is probably why it perplexed me). Back then I said “Interestingly there is the concept of recognition in biology which it seems has a lot to do with having similar characteristics â€¦ which reminds me of communities.”
Here’s the definition again:
# Biology. The ability of one molecule to attach itself to another molecule having a complementary shape, as in enzyme-substrate and antibody-antigen interactions.
I think that it tells us WHO the recognition comes from. We might all like recognition to varying degrees and from a general populace. But we most like recognition from another who has a complementary shape – similar ideals, similar interests, in the same paddock. This means people we respect, our peers, those we identify with, those we somehow feel we are or would like to be connected to … those in our ‘life-community’.
Does more recognition = more connectedness = more hope = more resilient?
Nature can teach us a lot.