In Praise of Praise


Sally Field’s “You like me!” Academy Award Acceptance Speech for “Places in the Heart.”


Tonight is the 84th annual Academy Award  (Oscar) show. I’ve only seen one of the main movies up for an award, so I don’t know how interested I’ll be in watching, but the Oscar show brought to mind Sally Field’s acceptance speech when she said, “You like me.”  I watched the broadcast when Sally Field made this acceptance speech, and I did see the movie, “Places in the Heart,” which brings me to the point of this post, which is not about the movies but about being acknowledged.  Most of us want to be liked or approved of in some way.   Strangely, many people also seem to be very stingy with praise, even when it’s warranted.  Millions of words have been written about how easily we toss around compliments so much that the praise is almost worthless.    I don’t agree.  The more praise the better, I say!

Anyway, I like WordPress’ “like” function, because it’s an easy way (Okay, I’m lazy) to give a little deserved praise even if I’m at a loss for words in a comment.  Sometimes random strangers click “like” on a post, and I discover someone new to read.  And I’m always happy to hear from friends.  We bloggers love our friends (and the stats that show “You like me!”)

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4 Comments

Filed under Entertainment

4 responses to “In Praise of Praise

  1. So that’s where that came from! I’d never seen the clip before but I’ve certainly heard about it. And we just watched Sally Field in a movie called “An Eye for an Eye” last night, too, so good timing.

    As a blogger, praise is one of my favorite weapons. I do enjoy giving it out. It’s different than reading something you like in the newspaper and really enjoying it. You never said, “I’m going to track down an email address for that writer and praise her!” That’s the wonderful thing about WordPress and other blogs. You can write to the author and even get a response. It’s fun! I still remember the first time you wrote back to something I had said. It was a very exciting moment! 🙂

    Like you said, empty praise is pretty much worse than meaningless. To me it can be an insult. But genuine praise, especially when it is meaningful and targeted, can be one of the best moments ever. In a work setting too many bosses fail to understand such a simple concept and end up using praise to tear down rather than build up.

  2. Reblogged this on Shouts from the Abyss and commented:
    My live tweet coverage of the Oscars:

    After that I became very disinterested and didn’t tweet again.

  3. I love it when people take the time to write comments on my blog. I take these comments to heart. As Tom says, It’s way cool how blogs enable you to communicate with another writer/human.

    As a teacher, I find that a simple comment/compliment can make a student’s day. My students frequently look to me for approval and encouragement. I dole it out judiciously. And I make them earn it which makes the praise twice as sweet. I’ve had students from previous years come back to visit and tell me something I said to them (which I’ve long forgotten) that made a difference in how they viewed themselves and their potential. But then I can think of things people said to me that I’ve never forgotten. it’s takes so little to boost someone’s spirits! 🙂

  4. I think this is the first time I read a post that openly talks about the ‘like’ device. You’ve spoken for all of us, Cathy. I mean, bloggers have always been silently hoping, but abashed about saying out loud their common, hidden desire: Yes, I want to be liked, and followed! It’s the basic need of being heard, and as you’ve pointed out, being approved. To me, that’s what drives me to continue writing and posting. If nobody reads my blog, will it still exist? The answer is obvious. I mean, I could have kept a private, personal journal. I guess that’s the ‘social’ in the ‘social media’.

    Thanks for the Sally Field acceptance speech, sincere and authentic. I remember watching Places in the Heart, an engaging film with an ambiguous ending. But of course, now thinking about it, I ‘understand’ it more. This year’s Oscars, I’m glad to hear Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech, esp. this: “When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going: ‘Aww no. Not her again’. But, you know, whatever.” She’s right of course, whatever, they picked me!

    As per your prompting, Cathy, I’m including here the link to my Oscars post. Let’s continue with the after-party discussion. 🙂

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