I have always been a big believer in the "power of one." One person really can change the world. Or at least the world of many.
My son, Caleb, is an amazing kid. He has a really hard time with quitting when things get hard and is really hard on himself. I've heard SO MANY TIMES, "I'm the slowest kid in my class. I'll never beat anyone!" or "Reading is just too hard. I'll never be able to read faster!" or "I just can't do it." I have tried and tried and tried to encourage, entice, and even bribe him!
Then one day, after the start of the school year, something happened. He came home sporting a bracelet from his teacher that said, "TEAM GLEASON - NO WHITE FLAGS" I asked him what it meant. He said, "well, Mom it means you can never surrender. Never give up!" I thought that was cool and left it at that. Over the next couple of weeks, I noticed some changes in my son. He started saying things like, "Well Mom, I'm not as fast as Anthony yet, but I tried really hard and I was faster than another kid today!" And he was reading. Chapter books. And saying, "It's okay if it takes longer, cause I can do it!" He would refer to learning more about "No white flags!" from his teacher and if someone in the family said something about quitting - he'd pipe up and say, "Nope! You can't quit! No white flags!" I can't even tell you how amazing this transformation has been for this little 7 yr old boy and those of us who are around him. School has not even been in session a month yet, and already this teacher has had more influence with one motto, than I have the last few years! Now that in itself is pretty awesome. But now I'm going to tell you the story behind the motto.
Team Gleason - Caleb's teacher's step-son is Steve Gleason. He played for the New Orleans Saints until he retired in 2008 and in 2011 was diagnosed with ALS. I encourage you to read up on his website all about the disease and Team Gleason's motto and what they are doing to help others. It is inspiring to say the least.
I am saddened by the tragedy of this terminal diagnosis for such a young and healthy man. I am awed by how many lives he has, and will continue to change. Just think - every child that Mrs. Gleason (Caleb's teacher) has had in her classroom since this diagnosis has been taught "No white flags!" Those students take that to their homes and families. If, like in the case of my child, they take that motto heart, their lives are forever changed FOR THE BETTER! And that is just from one person in one avenue of her life! Think of all the others she has talked to-fellow teachers, friends, neighbors, etc.
The power of one. How grateful I am for those in this life who are called to a higher calling, or purpose. Who persevere, who teach by example, who inspire others, who forget about themselves in order to help others. Oh, if we could all be a little more like them! The world would change, all because of one. And just think who the One these people are being like. So grateful for the ultimate example of charity, sacrifice, and pure love - Jesus Christ.
In case you missed the link earlier, I'm serious. Read up on this amazing individual and all Team Gleason's efforts!