So here's a variation on the New Year's Honours theme.
1 - name the five wealthiest people on the planet?
2 - the last five World Cup-winning countries?
3 - last year's chosen ones in the New Year's Honours list?
4 - the last five winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize? The Man Booker?
5 - the last five Oscar-winning Best Actors and Best Actresses?
6 - the last decade's worth of FA Cup Winners?
Few of us remember yesterday's headlines. Not even when they brim with the Best Of. Applause fades, awards rust, achievements are forgotten. All this important stuff swirls to nothing in the mists of time. The point dies with he or she who made it. I am thinking especially of Addison Cresswell, who passed away in his sleep last week. Who will remember, in a year or two's time, the exhaustingly high-achieving super-agent and producer who made Jonathan Ross, Michael McIntyre, Jack Dee and countless others? Only a handful.
So try this.
Name the teachers at school who made pennies drop for you.
The friends who were there for you when the chips were down.
The people who taught you something worthwhile, something that may have changed your life.
Those who have made you feel appreciated and special.
Those with whom you genuinely enjoy spending time.
The point? That those who make a difference in your life are not those with the most money, the most awards, the most influence. They are simply the ones you care about the most, and who care about you.
Happy New Year.