On the first day my kids went back to school after two weeks of vacation, they both wrote journal entries about what they did. Here’s my journal entry.
The first: Watching the Today show on New Year’s Day, during which Matt Lauer was reporting about the most inspirational person in his life: Mohammed Ali. I have never spent much time watching The Today Show or thinking about Mohammed Ali, but this made me pause. Not the part about what a talented boxer he was, but the part when he lit the Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta, and for three minutes he showed the world who he was.
Matt Lauer said this: “Imagine the message it sent to people all around the world that the former heavyweight champion of the world, the greatest, was comfortable standing there in that world spotlight, trembling, but holding that torch, sending a message that I am still powerful.” The bravery it takes to be honest about who you are is admirable and something we all should strive for and encourage in those around us.
The second: That same morning, watching the Rose Parade. Among the dozens of marching bands, one fleeting snapshot, of a young man in a wheelchair, crashing his cymbals, being pushed in formation with the other members of the band.It was a moment that went unmentioned. The announcers who spent much of the parade explaining every flower on every float didn’t breathe a word. It felt like a part of the parade, like everyone expected it, and it should be: an expected, common part of everything that happens in our community.
That’s what I learned, and that’s what I’m going to work on and encourage from those around me this year.