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And the Winner is ...

Updated: May 31, 2022

FIRST - the winner of the draw for a free book is ... Margie R from Calgary! Congratulations Margie!

(If you didn't win this time, don't lose heart! EVERYONE who is currently subscribed, and those who join

over the next two months, will be entered into the next draw at the end of July!)


What a thrill it is to win something! (I hope, at least, for Margie.)

I remember, not that many years ago, when I could still say that I'd never won anything but then, suddenly, I won ... a tent. A tent! For a person who pretty much loathes anything involving camping, especially tenting, this was not a great "win",in my opinion. All I could think was, "Now I can no longer complain that I've not won anything because a TENT ruined my track record!" I know ... sounds ungrateful ... probably because I was, and even more-so when we first camped under that structure and were soaked by morning.

When I was a kid, in order to win anything, you had to earn it. Nary a "participation" ribbon was pinned to this girls flat chest, or onto any other kids my age who weren't the "best of the best" either.

It seems different these days but lets face it -- even young humans know when they're not one of the top three in a race, and they certainly are aware when they sit at the bottom of the pecking order, no matter what colour ribbon they're handed.

Personally, I think it's a good lesson to learn when you're young -- that occasionally you might win but, more often ... you won't. It's also valuable to learn how to accept both with grace, dignity and, most importantly, empathy for others.

We've tried to teach the younger generation to guard their own self-confidence, dare-I-say, to their own detriment. Although I think a healthy self-esteem is important, I have to ask -- has the pendulum now swung a tad too far to the self-serving side?

Winning well-deserved scholarships, awards for excellence and finishing on the top of what you've strived to accomplish is truly amazing and should be celebrated.

If you've not brought home the hardware, however, when you've worked just as hard or even harder, but you know you've done your BEST, then all the important people in your life should celebrate you too!

Still, life's often not fair and if you find yourself not receiving the accolades you may deserve ... well ... that's when your self-worth must kick in. When you know in your heart that you've done a great job, I encourage you to continue pressing on to the heights God knows you can reach. (Especially if you're in high-school. It's no great feat to 'peak' in high-school. Much more life is to come, and someday you may agree that your teen years were a mere stepping stone to much greater things.)

Someone recently commented to me that a child I'd once taught piano lessons to, who has found great success as an adult, must be my proudest accomplishment. I didn't miss a beat before saying, "Actually ... no. For one thing, I had nothing to do with that but my biggest accomplishment, as a teacher, was with a little girl who seemed to have no rhythm at all." She was seriously so uncoordinated that many times her lessons felt like an exercise in futility. When, after months of working at it, she finally played a piece in perfect time, I cried and we both celebrated! After a few years, she quit piano lessons but that was, by far, my biggest accomplishment during all of the years I spent teaching. I've never seen anyone work so hard to achieve what seemed to be so little but was actually the hugest of all.

I believe working hard to accomplish a goal ... makes you a winner, whether or not any award is given to you. I also believe that showing kindness and love to others, even when they don't return that back to you ... makes you the winner.

Lets face it, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" just never gets old!

Pattie Janzen




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