Tonight, the millions who tune in to the Oscars will hear dozens of short speeches.

A few people who have been blessed with incredible opportunities to do what they do best will go to the microphone, blink back tears, and thank the people who helped them do their work. While the Oscar winners will get the attention, their pictures plastered all over the news for the next 48 hours as if this statuette is actual confirmation that they are the best, the acceptance speeches will indicate, for a few fleeting moments, that it really isn’t about one glamorous celebrity. It’s about a creative community who made something good happen. It’s about a team effort that enabled them to contribute in a way that earned the appreciation of Hollywood. (For whatever that’s worth.)

It’s my favorite thing about the Oscars. I won’t be tuning in tonight. (I’m hosting a Boycott the Oscars party for dozens of moviegoers who would rather watch WALL-E, Shotgun Stories, The Dark Knight, Flight of the Red Balloon, and other films that actually deserve high honors. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Academy blow it as badly as they did this year.)

I love to hear people give thanks to other people in public. I love it so much that I think I’ll host a little Oscar Speech party right here.

The spotlight is now on YOU.

Think back over 2008, or the past couple of months in 2009.

Think about the opportunities and blessings you enjoyed. Then think about all of the people who were involved in making that happen.

This is your chance. Thank them. In public. I don’t have Oscar’s audience of a bazillion viewers in the audience worldwide, but I do get, oh, between 1,500 – 2,500 readers a day… so that’s a decent audience for you. If the spotlight fell on you, and you had 30 – 60 seconds to thank people in your life for parts they played in 2008, who would you thank?

It’s okay if you cry. We’ll cheer anyway.

Make a quick list of four, five, ten people to whom you are grateful. Post your personal “speech.” Then contact the friends, family, colleagues, and others who you thanked. Give them this link. Let them know you mentioned their name in the spotlight.

I’m going to make a list of my own. If I receive 10 responses in the comments below, I’ll post it. Since we’re all here, let’s make something memorable out of it.

Gratitude. It does a body good.

And congratulations to everybody involved. Especially the Director.

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