Monday, April 19, 2010

Michigan Green Leaders contest chips away some cynicism: Maybe everyone really is special?

Presenter at awards ceremony: “There were so many terrific and qualified nominees that it was incredibly hard for the judges to pick a winner!”
Translation: “We’re spewing this BS because we want to make everyone feel snuggly, warm and special even though some of these simpletons don’t even deserve our free bagels, much less this award.”

That’s pretty much my mindset, after covering way too many half-baked awards events and back-slapping-attaboy ceremonies. Everyone is special. Right.

After slogging through 351 nominees as a judge in the Detroit Free Press’ first Michigan Green Leaders contest, I’m humbled to admit it’s change my view:

With the exception of perhaps a few dozen, every one of the nominees is doing something positive, tangible and often selfless to help protect Michigan’s natural resources. In most instances, their efforts were a financial boost to their businesses, schools or household budgets.

It was refreshing to read about 300 people, businesses and institutions who are doing great things for our state. And I can say that with a straight face.

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