It’s amazing how humans are easily enticed, enthralled, impressed, or placated by bits of colored thread and base metal, embellished pieces of paper, and honorifics. It does not matter that many rewards are trumped up and based on lies, half-truths, or misinformation. The artificial significance and imagined meaning are what’s important to those that find them so valuable for their egos. Pride is evident in every award-ceremony photograph. Certificates embellish walls in an attempt to enhance image, suggest personality, and provide worth to an otherwise empty life.
What would England do without its aristocracy? How would insurance companies reward their salesmen? What would veterans do with their medals, if there were no parades? People talk of serving their country, corporation, or military unit. No soldier wants to admit that he must give his life, even if deep down he knows that his country might take it. No medal can fill the void for once-proud loved ones. Corporations exploit their employees and placate them with worthless certificates, before making them redundant.
I feel that people should find value in aspects with substance and meaning, while being less susceptible to meaningless ornamentation...but perhaps that’s asking too much of the human race.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.