As I review the progress of the projects underway, I am struck by the need many have for credit. S/he needs to know that their efforts are recognized. It is important that s/he feels that there is value as a result of the effort. The need to know often pushes some to emphasize just how much they have done. Even with the best of intents, the process leads others (me in this case) to think that the contribution is exaggerated. I know perceptions are rarely accurate, however the questions remain. Who deserves credit for what?
Implicit in the question is a perception of value. A critical phase may not take much effort. Should it be recognized as more important than another phase that was time consuming? A decision could be the moment where a project turned to success or stumbled on to failure. Is this the most valuable step along the path? Is the measure courage, risk, effort, or uniqueness of the contribution? Perhaps the measure is entirely something else?
When I look at great contributions I see something unique. Many contributions transcended the individual. Yes, individuals have and continue to play a critical role. However, inspiration, teamwork, and the faith others have all come into the frame. Each plays a critical role in the process. Credit belongs to each. It is never about just one person on top. Winning can apply to all.
One old wisdom father noted his perspective. “We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow.” (1 Corinthians 3.6) God was willing, yet it took the effort of planting and watering to make it real.
This year is reflected in many amazing stories. They speak of achievements and overcoming obstacles. They talk of individual heroics and dedication. Each reflects more than any one individual. They reflect the hope that comes from inspiration, possibilities that rest on teamwork, and the willingness to do the impossible that is linked with faith. They are ours not mine.
Reflection is a foundation for new paths.