Friday, February 1, 2019

Above and Beyond

Along with a new mayor and councillors, the municipal elections bring in new board members for all of the municipal organizations, such as the library, committee of adjustment, museum, planning and development, and so one.  

A friend applied for one of the committees and in the interview was asked this question:

"When have you gone above and beyond the call of duty?"

Surprisingly, it is the Medal of Honour that comes up the most.  It is the United States highest and most prestigious award.  It is awarded for those with service above and beyond the call of duty, along with acts of valour.  It is an interesting topic.  

"...After the war, it was commonplace for veterans to lobby their congressmen for the medal of honour. Combat veterans, however, resented the easy way the medal was given out to men 'who were only doing their duty' and pressed the War Department to make changes. One reform came in 1890, when the armed services declared that an individual could not nominate himself for a medal.

Finally, in 1916, (U.S.) President Woodrow Wilson signed a law requiring the War Department to set up a commission of distinguished generals and admirals to review all previous medal awards.

At the same time, the services created a series of lesser medals to honor acts of courage. The Medal of Honor would only be awarded for actions 'above and beyond the call of duty' and in actual combat..."

Today the 'above and beyond' phrase is a catchy one.  Like
'call of duty' there is drama in the expression.  It brings to mind professions such as police, fire, doctors, and other emergency and life-saving professions.

At the other end of jobs - there's not much personal sacrifice and risk in the world of municipal boards, or in corporate jobs.  Can you imagine going 'above and beyond' in a call centre?

There is a video game named "Call of Duty".  You can actually have a "Call of Duty" job -the company is hiring.

Here's the snow-covered Magnolia tree from the Toronto garden. 


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