Dear Stuart,

A few weeks ago Art and I were talking about the Nobel Prize. The winners in economics had just been announced and I was trying to explain to Art what they had done. My inability to explain anything coupled with Art’s belief that the Nobel Prize is only a literary award rendered the conversation somewhat pointless.

“He does work in market design and solves matching problems.. like matching patients to kidneys.”
“Oh yeah… I read that.”
“… I don’t think it’s a book”
“The ending was sub-par.”

After much debate, we eventually established that there is a literary prize and a peace prize. Wanting to move past our argument on what a Nobel is, I conceded that “the prize for physics was abolished after the Second World War” and that “economists do not deserve awards”. Best not to get started on the other categories. Anyway, I asked Art whom he would nominate for either the peace or literary prize. He paused.

“I think I would choose my old neighbour, Oli.”

When I asked him why, Art responded, “he used to come over and shovel my driveway in the winter and mow my lawn in the summer. And I never asked him to. He was just a good neighbour.”

While all of the Nobel Prize winners are undoubtedly brilliant and more than deserve their awards (YES, YOU TOO EU! HIGH FIVE!), it’s nice to be reminded that it’s often the small things that people really remember.