Posted on | September 5, 2012 | 3 Comments
My office is littered with frames.
I have a framed legal fraternity initiation seal, a framed law school diploma, a framed Order of the Barristers certificate and a framed admission to practice law in the State of Georgia. There’s a framed award from my time in Moot Court, a framed “Who’s Who” certificate, a framed admission to practice in the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and the Northern District of Georgia. There’s my college diploma and the framed artwork representing the seasons at my alma mater, the great University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On my book shelf there are framed photographs of friends and family, a framed Christmas card from my sweet friend who passed away not so very long ago, and even a framed award from my high school years.
Isn’t it funny the things we mat and press and seal in glass? The shreds of paper, the cardstock photos, the treasured smiles? It’s like we’re always trying to preserve and protect some special moment in time… some irretrievable feeling that might lay hidden beneath and between the soft, padded back and hard glassy front. I sit in my office and look around at all these frames, all these papers that make me look and sound so very important. The light bounces off and around them, glistening down on me like I’m the second coming of awesome… decorated and adorned, decidedly important. These are the papers and pick me ups that define who I am in this corner office with my window overlooking the parking lot. And often, when I look at them, I wonder if there will be more to frame; more recognition some day, a better or thicker bordered cherry wooden boundary that says maybe I’m more important than just a thin, black frame.
But with all the awards and distinctions that scatter across the walls, the most important frame of all sits precariously perched on the back side of my desk. It is not matted down, not sealed and protected with layer after layer of professional courtesy. In fact, it changes at least twice a year and sometimes more, reflecting back at me the award I most wanted to win, the recognition I receive daily with no urging or encouragement to or from my peers. It is just a small, silver frame, nothing fancy, and it sits flanked by my printer and one of my computer’s speakers. If you come into my office, you might miss it at first glance, might overlook it’s importance amidst the high walls of papered glory.
But it is my most important achievement.
It is my most rewarding prize.
And I hope, with every day that passes, that he will always know, always believe, that his frame, that he, is more important than any preserved paper or fancy seal… no matter the size, shape, or color of their prestigious and pompous frame.