A few weeks ago, I heard about a younger student who was worried they were out of dress code during a Red, White & Blue day we were holding in honor of Veterans Day. Wearing our school gym uniform (a maroon shirt and gray sweatpants) the student felt his shirt wasn’t really red. I happened to be a wearing one of our school shirts and walked into the class where he was and commented “hey, we’re wearing the same shirt!” I stood next to him and reassured him that he was wearing the right colors and the class gave a little cheer.
FULL DISCLOSURE: As a brand afficiando, I am quite comfortable accepting maroon as a substitute for red, especially when children are involved! 🙂
Why share this simple story? Because in looking at it a bit deeper, you realize it’s more than an example about dress code rules; it’s about finding connection with one another. When I was walking back to my office I was overwhelmed with the feeling I had just made that boy’s day and nothing special on my part contributed to it. In that one moment in time, I literally and figuratively stood with him and connected for his class to witness and that made all the difference.
As with so many other feelings and experiences during these final weeks of 2022, we must remind ourselves of the value of reconnecting with one another. The holiday season is naturally a time to do just this, but we need to remember the intentionality that comes with this habit: meeting people where they are. Reconnecting with others in our lives is not a simple proposition. Many of us face various obstacles that do not make this easy or even possible. We often cite personalities or events that prevent us from making these connections. This emphasis on the who or what of reconnecting allows us to rationalize that things can never change. But they can, and they do!
What we forget to consider is when we are. C.S. Lewis reminds us, “You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.” Reconsidering the role of time in our lives allows us to rediscover the virtue of connecting with those close and possibly those further distanced from us. Connecting may require us to sacrifice, look beyond ourselves, and embrace our vulnerability. But the potential returns are immeasurable!
It’s a Great Day to be a Bulldog!