But I have always viewed these matters in a less cynical manner because the awardees chosen ultimately reflect back upon the organization and what it stands for. So, the organizations are selective in whom they honor. Therefore, it is a lovely thing to be recognized, especially if the sponsoring organization is one you highly value. I was recently reorganizing my shelves and had a chance to look over several that I have received over the last few years.
My absolute favorite is the "Good Guy Award" from the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus, both for what it means and for what it supports. I look forward each year to MWPC's selection of "Good Guys." Here is a summary from the website:
The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus introduced the Good Guys Awards in 2002 to honor men who demonstrate an ongoing commitment and partnership in achieving equality for women. These awards recognize that our goals of attaining parity in politics and equality in American society can only be reached through the concerted efforts of men and women in all areas of professional life. The money raised at the Good Guys Awards is used to fund the programs of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Education Fund.
When I received this award back in 2005, my speech mainly consisted of individually recognizing the dozens of professional women in the audience from the public and private sectors who had been my mentors, advisers, and supporters during a multi-decade career at the state Energy Policy Office, Department of Public Utilities, MA Water Resources Authority, and BIDMC. While I may have been helpful to many of them, I truly owed them much more than I gave them. So the event was more a chance for me to say "thank you" than to be honored. In that respect, too, it was a special day for me.