I am terrible at accepting praise. Those who know me will know that this is not a boast, but rather a hard admission to a deep character flaw. When offered accolades, my first instinct is to deflect and downplay their significance. But I have come to realize that this is a dishonest impulse, a drastic, dramatic form of self-effacingness that not only hides my true feelings, but can actively damage my relationships with others. To reject praise from others for the sake of being humble is, in a sense, to negate their opinions, to call them liars. Rebuffed by this constant dismissal, I see how even genuine goodwill can eventually turn sour.
I don’t want that to happen. With gentle but firm reminders from friends and family, I am working to accept praise better, especially when it comes to writing, partly out of a desire to better respect the opinions of others, and partly because I believe my work is worthy of recognition. Orwell once wrote in his famous essay, Why I Write, that “it is humbug to pretend that [sheer egoism] is not a motive, and a strong one.” I remind myself that it’s OK, even necessary, to indulge the ego in modest doses, to take it out for a stroll when the occasion warrants, albeit on a firm leash.
It is with this mindset that I want to share that the 2013 Canadian Weblog Awards has nominated Ekostories for Best Web Blog in three categories. Here is a blurb about the process:
“Over the past year, the 2013 Canadian Weblog Awards saw 492 weblogs nominated across 34 categories. Our 34 volunteer jurors worked hard over the course of this November and December using our 10 criteria to judge each of the 492 weblogs in the first round and each of the approximately 170 weblogs in the second round to arrive at our winners.”
I am very proud to have placed 3rd in Green Living, 2nd in Science and Nature, and 1st in Writing and Literature. I would like to extend congratulations to all the other nominees, finalists, and winners. I am also deeply grateful to the volunteer jury for their judgements, to Elan Morgan for hosting this year’s awards, and to all the readers and contributors of Ekostories. Thank you for the acknowledgement!
And now for some deflection:
- How do you handle and accept praise?
- Is there a difference between modesty and humility? If so, what is it?