The title for this blog isn’t poor grammar. I mean exactly what it says. Always do good. Be a good person all the time, even when you think that no one is watching.

I’ll explain to you how I figured this out.

A few weeks ago (June the 23rd or 24th, it was), I was speaking with my good friend Kelsey via MSN. The conversation eventually turned to the subject of dramatic performances. Having been part of two performances at my school, I gave my (somewhat pessimistic) two cents: School plays are fun, but the stage crew gets no respect whatsoever. Half of the cast won’t even know your name.

And that was all true, to a certain extent. Half the cast didn’t know my name, after all.

But then again, what was I? A lowly spotlight operator. I turned on the spotlight, I followed the lead actors with the spotlight, and I turned off the spotlight. That’s about it. Did I do anything deserving of special mention or respect? Not really. I just showed up everyday, and when I was asked to do something, I did it to the best of my ability without complaining. I tried to do good. I didn’t think that anyone cared, but I tried anyhow.

A day or two after my conversation with my good friend Kelsey was my school’s graduation ceremony, and along with the graduation ceremony came the awards ceremony. Valedictorian, athlete of the year… that sort of thing. I knew that I didn’t have a shot at either of those two awards, but I was gunning for the history award, seeing as history was both my favourite subject and my highest mark.

Alas, the history award came and went, and I was not the winner. And so the night went on, with me growing more and more despondent as more and more awards were announced, and I wasn’t the winner of any of them.

I shouldn’t have felt sad every time one of my peers stood up to receive an award, but I couldn’t help it, especially since some of the award winners were way below me in terms of both academic and extracurriculars, but were winning awards that I didn’t qualify for. For example, the Latin award. All of five people took Latin, and as such one of those five had to win the Latin award, despite the fact that none of those five were particularily good students.

Anyhow, the awards kept coming and coming. And eventually, the emcee came to the Father Norman Fitzpatrick Exit Scholarship, which was "to be presented to two students who have made a significant contribution to the dramatic performances at the school."

Having heard that, I immediately tuned the emcee out. I hadn’t been an actor.

The emcee announced the names. "Michael Bazzocchi and Michael Dan…"

I didn’t hear the last part of the name. The emcee spoke it quietly, possibly to avoid mispronouncing it. People are never sure what to do with that last name. Daneese? Dansay? Danace? Daness? Daneasy? Danayzay? Daneezay?

Anyhow, I didn’t hear him at first, so I remained seated for about ten seconds. And people around me started whispering "Dude! Get up!", to which I replied "Huh? I won?"

Apparently I had. So I stood up, very confused, and made my way to the stage. Before I climbed the stage I made sure that there wasn’t someone else getting up as well. What a nightmare it would have been to get to the stage only to have the presenter say "Sorry, I called Michael De Santis." But Michael De Santis did not come up to the stage, nor did any other Michael besides Michael Bazzocchi, my co-winner. So, very confused, I climbed the steps to the stage, shook the presenter’s hand, and accepted my award. The presenter, seeing the confused expression on my face, said "There are two awards, Michael. One is for acting, the other is for the technical aspects.

Wow. I got an award for shining a spotlight on people.

I later opened up the envelope that came along with the award, and found a cheque for $1,000 inside.

Double wow. I got $1,000 for shining a spotlight on people. (The history award was worth a whopping $0. All you got was a plaque.)

Thinking back, I was the only grade 12 crew member who showed up for every single rehersal where I required. And I was the only grade 12 crew member who never left early. And I was one of the few crew members who ever volunteered to do extra work, such as walking around the stage in a set pattern for two hours so that the lighting crew could test the lights.

I just didn’t think that anyone was watching. Or that anyone really cared. But someone was. And they did.

Always do good. Be a good person all the time, even when you think that no one is watching, because someone always is.

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