Matthew T. Rippeyoung, M.A., C. Psych. -
No Secrets Here


It’s graduation season!  I have a very dear friend who recently completed his master’s degree.  It was a long and difficult battle that took a great amount of work.  Of course I’m happy for him, and of course I want to honour him in some way, but it got me to thinking about what we choose to celebrate and make a big deal about vs. what we take for granted.
Getting a master’s degree is amazing!  Many people apply to programmes and don’t get in, and many people start programmes but don’t finish them (and many people don’t ever want a master’s degree, and that’s fine too—the point is, insert goal here). 

The master’s degree is probably the least amazing thing about my friend.  He’s a terrific father and really cares about his little girl and who she is turning out to be.  He’s a good partner and encourages his wife to do things that are challenging but ultimately what she wants to do.  He’s thoughtful to his mother who isn’t always so thoughtful in return.  He works really hard at his paid work, and often ends up working unpaid overtime, because it’s the right thing to do.  He volunteers in his community, not to pad his resume, but because he wants to contribute to living somewhere that’s a safe and wonderful place for everyone in his community.  He goes out of his way to make the lives of others easier, while taking great pains not to make others feel indebted to him.  I have yet to see him take an easy out in a difficult situation, because his focus is on what’s right in the bigger sense, rather than what’s convenient for him at any given moment.  A graduation ceremony makes it very public that you have completed a degree, but where’s the public recognition for all the other stuff that people do that means something?
I’m sure we’ve all come across arrogant folk who are more than happy to tell us how wonderful they are.  But when it comes down to it, there’s remarkably little recognition of the things that matter most to us, in our lives.  I see it in my therapy room, too.  I work with some folks who are so depressed that getting out of bed is a major accomplishment at times, and even in those times, they struggle to see it as anything remarkable.  Sometimes putting one foot in front of the other and going on takes a tremendous amount of energy that we aren’t sure we have.  Whether it’s kindness to others or being able to overcome some significant struggle, so much of our time is spent thinking that everything is “no big deal.”  Unless it’s accompanied by a public event like a graduation, a wedding, an awards ceremony or some kind of financial remuneration, we leave it alone.
Think about what you’ve done today—did you make someone a meal?  Did you let someone have a seat on the bus?  Did you work hard on a project?  Did you respond to someone’s e-mail with something kind?  Did you get out of bed even though you didn’t want to?  Likely, in the last 24 hours you have done something small, but meaningful that will not be awarded with a raise, or an Oscar.  Even if no one else sees it—or maybe especially if no one else sees it—celebrate it.  Celebrate that you added something good to the universe.  

4 Comments to Celebrate:

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job on April-27-17 1:18 AM
thank you
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john on September-04-17 11:53 PM
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tutuapp apk on October-11-17 5:06 AM
I just want to say thanks to the one who recommended the website; it’s been very helpful to me. And now and I’m happy.
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