At ALA, we define an unsung hero as someone who does something for others but isn’t widely recognised for their positive contribution.
We celebrate two unsung heroes each month, a student and a member of staff & faculty (staffulty). The entire community votes (or is supposed to vote) and each nominee receives a small blurb on why they are appreciated.
Now there are many people in our lives that we ought to be thankful for, especially in school. Think about how difficult life would be if everyone had to cook their own breakfast, or vacuum their room, or do their own plumbing. These are all simple everyday tasks that we overlook. Then there’s the little things: that person who always has a smile for you, that person whose room is always available for you to relax in, those who always have a pen available for you because you never have one. Then there are the people who feed you: those whose pizza you always eat. Of course on the few and far between days you actually have food, they never get to share it. But I digress. The point is there are many people without whom life would be a lot less lively. A friend of mine once said that Unsung was an opportunity for people to pat others on the back and commend them for the little things. Too many times, we celebrate larger than life achievements: academic excellence, passion for Africa, entrepreneurial spirit and scientific achievements. But we hardly pause to consider the people whose minute acts make such feats possible. This is what unsung is about, thanking the man who cleans the board on which a revolutionary mathematical proofs are written. A wise man, a.k.a Mr. Findley tells me over and over that, “Success is about the little things”. Unsung is an extension of that idea, that gratitude should be fostered at all levels.
After months of nominating someone for Unsung, you tend to take less for granted.
Fun fact: There is a 1200 minute North Korean film called Unsung Heroes.