Another Honours List

You can download it as a meme or as a GIF. You can buy it on a baby’s onesie or on a t-shirt (front and/or back). You can have it on a mug, a tumbler, or a shot glass. I expect it will be all over Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

“It” is simply the text for “December 31st, 2023” but the format makes all the difference, showing yet again that presentation matters.


While we’re standing about here at the end of the year (at least according to the Gregorian calendar; your results may vary), let me just note that once again I and everyone I know has been passed over for the Order of Canada at any level (member, officer, or companion). Nor were we mentioned in The Hub’s list of 23 stand-out Canadians. Nor, indeed, did any of us appear on any year-end list as far as I know.

We’re all stand-up guys, but I guess our stand-out qualities aren’t obvious. But even though our day-to-day actions won’t get us recognized on honours lists, day by day these actions can make a huge and sustainable difference in our world. So, for the inaugural People’s Choice List, I nominate anyone who, in the last year:

  • Left a public space cleaner or safer than they found it
  • Left anyone dealing with the public in a better mood than the one they found them in
  • Left anyone at all feeling better about themselves (including a special category for taking a risk and complimenting a stranger) (in a non-creepy way)
  • Sat with someone in their grief or fear
  • Disagreed with someone honestly and respectfully
  • Encouraged a child
  • Kept their patience with a stranger, friend, or themselves
  • Shared their expertise, time, or money with family, neighbours, or their  community
  • Remembered my appreciation of symmetrical/palindromic numbers and reminded me of this auspicious date – it *is* a thing of beauty, isn’t it?


You all know who you are. Who knows what we can be next year?

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14 Responses to Another Honours List

  1. I appreciate your Encouraging List. Just one of the lauded Canadians fell within my personal acquaintance long ago, which gave me pause — like you — to consider the labours of those not lauded. I also enjoyed the reading opened to me by your referral to the Poetry of the Week. Somehow, the intensity of my unapplauded (even the dictionary shuns approval upon that adjective!) work has pushed the idea of writing poetically about it further from my thoughts. So, here is a New Years resolution to write poetry again. With deepest thanks for your labours here, not lost upon us, and with very best wishes to you and your family for a Blessed New Year.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I encourage you to return to poetry, if it gives you pleasure and is not a burden. I think you have a gift for it. Blessings on your family, also.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    What a great People’s Choice List! Inspiring! Thanks.

  3. Judith Umbach says:

    A beautiful number! A great list of honourees!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – 🙂 I’m thinking we should have little lapel pins to give out, as the Order of Canada does. I think it was your workplace that had a program of small recognition gifts (if any such can truly be small) so as to appreciate/reinforce behaviours and attitudes and accomplishments that wouldn’t trigger an organization-wide award at the end of the year, but that were noticed by a work group.

  4. Judith niece says:

    Agreed! I think I’m surrounded by people who deserve this award.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – 🙂 Funny how that works, eh? The thing i like about it is that (as Mom showed us) you can excel at this list even after you’re too old/frail to be otherwise “productive.”

  5. Jim Taylor says:

    I tried various forms of palindromic mnemonics for 2024, and failed. The closest I could come was 10242024, October 10th. Or maybe 24022024, Feb. 24, if you treat “24” as a single numeric entity. Surely there’s some kind of app that can calculate calendrical oddities way into the future?

    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – If there is not such an app, the universe can consider this our request for same. The order of year, month, day matters a lot of course . . .

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