When do one's accomplishments cease to matter??

No, not the invention of the internal combustion engine or the microchip or individually wrapped slices of cheese… I mean things from our past that were such a source of pride and are now all but forgotten.

For example: When I was in the 7th grade, I won an honorable mention in a national essay contest. It thrilled me beyond words at the time, but I’d all but forgotten about it. Perhaps if I’d become a writer, it might have mattered more.

So, how long does it matter what your rank in your graduating class was, or what your GPA was, or how many touchdowns you scored in a single game?? Do you still have the blue ribbon from 3rd grade science fair? Is your perfect attendance certificate framed and hanging over the mantle? Do you manage to steer conversation to track meets so you can casually mention that you were All-State for 3 years in a row?

Consider this to be a gratuitous opportunity to brag about long-faded glories… :smiley:

I think accomplishments fade from two things: greater distance into the past, and being overshadowed by bigger accomplishments.

F’rinstance, I was a national merit quarterfinalist, I think the only one from my high school. Everyone was pretty impressed at the time, but I didn’t make the final cut for an actual prize. That was overshadowed by the full scholarship I won to a respected private college. And winning that scholarship has just sort of faded into the past. Yeah, it’s still an accomplishment, but less important these days than accomplishing paying the rent et al.

*Glory days well they’ll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

When you tell someone about it and they roll they’re eyes. Oh, you were Salutatorian of your highschool class with over a 4.0 GPA? :rolleyes: National Merit Quarter Finalist? :rolleyes: President or office or 3 or 4 clubs, including NHS? :rolleyes:
Ya see what I mean? Same thing with Captain of the Team, etc. If it’s old news, it’s old news.

Damn it!

I do know the difference between there/their/they’re and I can’t believe I made that mistake in typing that post. Only defense is that someone was talking to my while I typed that. :o

Depends on the person.

I have a friend whose mother has kept all of her awards. A fifty plus year old woman who has her Citizenship Award from Kindergarten.

Hey, whatever makes you happy.

In my experience a person’s accomplishments cease to matter to other people as soon as the individual does something either so wonderful or horrendous that s/he can be known ever after by that one event.
For example…. “That’s the guy who fucked the goat at band camp.” He might have been a straight A student, kind to his elderly grandmother and captain of the football team, but none of that will ever matter again.

One’s own accomplishments cease to matter when they are over shadowed by later events.


Reminds me of a famous Scottish joke. A TV reporter from England is doing a report on a small town in northern Scotland. He walks up to a man in a field and starts interviewing him:

Reporter: What’s your name?
Man: Donald.
Reporter: And what do you do in this town, Donald?
Donald: Well, that’s an interesting story. You see all those fences out in the pasture?
Reporter: Yes.
Donald: Well, I built every one of them. But do they call me “Donald the fence-builder”? No, they don’t. Now, look at all those nets in the bay. You see them?
Reporter: Yes.
Donald: I laid all of those nets to catch fish. But do they call me “Donald the net-layer”? No, they don’t. But, I have one moment of weakness with a sheep…

Well, put. I agree.

While to some people, older acheivements pale in comparison to more recent ones, why should this be true for everyone? If it makes you happy to reflect on past events, even ones in the distant past, then you should be free to do so. Don’t let anyone tell you that events you are proud of no longer matter because they’re too old.

In my previous post, there shouldn’t be a comma between “well” and “put”, obviously.

[sub]Guess I’m not proud of my punctuation “skills”[/sub]

Not too long ago, my mother sent me a bunch of old certificates (like 3rd grade penmanship) along with all my report cards. I’ve also got scads of certs from various and sundry classes I took while on active duty and over my years of civil service. I considered making a huge collage of all of there - imagine National Junior Honor Society beside Ejection Seat Safety Certification beside Intermediate Systems Acquisition. Come to think of it, that might be fun to make… first I need a big frame…

Do any of them really matter in the big scheme of things?

*1:1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
1:2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

1:14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.*