My daughter Mullery, a 5th grade teacher and coach at an independent school in Boston, a Middlebury College graduate and North Shore graduate class of 2006, sent me a link last week to a Middlebury Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony. One of the honorees is a parent at Mullery’s school whom she really admires – a mother of three, facing some very serious health challenges.
I found the woman’s remarks at the induction ceremony inspiring.
After being acknowledged by her coach for her athletic prowess and, more importantly, for her spirit, leadership and commitment, this mother took the podium and thanked the college – and, more specifically, her former teammates, her family and her coach – for the support she received. She was very modest and genuine and clearly grateful to be honored.
During her remarks, the woman emphasized the role her coach played in her development – not just as a lacrosse player but also as a person. She referred, a couple times, to what was apparently a very consistent message the coach imparted, “You have more to give than you think.”
These words resonated with me in many ways, especially with the upcoming Thanksgiving week. I think all of us associated with North Shore have a great deal to be thankful for, including our teachers/mentors/coaches – parents, grandparents and friends – who believe in us, and, in many ways, instill the belief in “You have more to give than you think.”
“More to give” can mean many things, and it is in each of our personal journeys that we will discover what and where we can give.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I am very grateful to the many people who have believed in me and instilled this same strong message that I, in fact, have more to give than I think.
Managing our relationships with our children and our students takes commitment, awareness, instinct and insight. And to the extent that we, like the Middlebury coach, can convince our children and students they have more to give than they think, we will have made a very meaningful impact on their lives – and possibly the lives of others.
For that, we can all give thanks.
North Shore Country Day School is a private, college-prep school for high school, middle school and elementary school students in Winnetka, IL, a suburb of Chicago.