Welcome Silence

I’ve been working on a project for my home chapter of my fraternity, and have been knee-deep in almost 8 years of paperwork, files and awards. But, while I was sorting and compiling the information I needed, I began thinking about the awards my chapter has received and the effects of that acknowledgment, the practice of acknowledging others and a few #SAChat conversations that have been held over the past year on recognition and compensation.

We all want acknowledgement for our work, be it personal, professional, volunteer, etc. And when we don’t get acknowledgement we tend to become unsatisfied, unappreciated and potentially negative with our work, our environment and/or our colleagues. Thus how the gossip mills on nepotism, favoritism and politics begin.

And don’t get me wrong, I love being acknowledged, just like everyone else. And I love to acknowledge others as well, hence my Panda Awards :). But over time, I’ve come to favor acknowledgement in ways that doesn’t result in award hardware or public consumption and in some ways, is unbeknownst to anyone but me.

Its times when I help a student have one of those “lightbulb” moments and they run off and ace a paper or project and I get to give them a high five when they show me their “100%”.

Or when a friend launches a new blog and is excited to share their views with the world and I can help them set their blog up and be a sounding board for their ideas.

Sometimes its when a colleague and I get to have a heart to heart and I can just be a listening ear to support them in their journey as a professional.

Other times its when I hear critiques and push back on a new idea, and a conversation gets to occur to help create even deeper and better programming.

Its when I get no acknowledgement at all for good work that I know I’m doing good work.


We each clamor for credit and acknowledgement. And in part its because it is what gives us credibility and social and professional capitol. But in the end, isn’t it about how we live and love each other and how we make the world a better place?

Sometimes the awards and acknowledgments are what distracts us from what we have been awarded of doing. So, maybe finding the silent acknowledgements that we can each find comfort in, will endure longer than the plaques on the wall; because there will not only be the personal gratification but we’ll have helped someone else which will have lasting effects longer than any physical item we may be given.

Just some thoughts I’ve been mulling over the past few weeks.

Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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