Lesson of the Week
Celebrating others: I honor others
She stepped in the stirrup and the celebration started. The cowgirls “greased” the wheel of progress by whispering words of honor, “Great job. Keep it up. You’re doing great!” Like grease in the wheel ball bearing casing, celebration liberates your mission to move forward and diminishes friction.
What do you do when a person accomplishes something of great value? Do you applaud or boo? Do you praise or scorn? Do you remember or forget? Do you rock and roll or party poop? Do you make merriment or misery? Do you celebrate or denigrate? Do you honor or disgrace?
Audre Lorde, Caribbean-American writer and activist, found being a black woman poet in the 1960’s meant being “invisible” — not celebrated. She expressed this idea, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
This inability to recognize, accept and celebrate is the rust that halts the wheels of progress. However, honor and celebration greases the wheel of progress and gets your mission up and going again. Every successful mission leader finds those people relevant to their cause – even unsung heroes, the marginalized employees, disenfranchised customers, or invisible volunteers and gives them a place of value. These people could be employees, helpers, family members, fast food workers, teachers, garbage collectors, pharmacists, crossing walk attendants, dish washers, custodians, babysitters, house maids, grass cutters, toll booth takers, telephone answerers or soda jerks.
One suggestion is to celebrate by doing random acts of kindness. Ann Curry, NBC News reporter took to Twitter and suggested everyone commit twenty acts of kindness in honor of each child lost in Newtown, Connecticut. Tens of thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook seized the idea. They increased the celebration to twenty-six acts — including the heroic teachers, principal, and psychologist who were killed at the Sandy Hook School massacre in December of 2012.
You might ask, “But what can I do to celebrate?” Pinterest has an entire section on ways people are celebrating others (Google Pinterest, celebrating others). For instance, Megan Everette has made posts showing what others will enjoy in way of celebratory food, pictures, flowers, and invitations. Sports teams give trophies. What will you give?
On your mission choose to regularly and systematically honor others. The effect of these celebrations will be like leaven in bread and will raise world consciousness to the betterment of all. Celebration and acts of honor towards others will be like grease in the wheel ball bearing casing – diminishing friction and liberating your mission to move forward. Celebrate others and get your mission rolling!
“It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.
- Hermann Hesse, German-Swiss novelist and Nobel Prize winner in literature
Activity: Going Outside the Comfort Zone
Materials: Paper and pen or pencil
Time: Ten minutes to write and ten minutes to discuss your results.
1. Think of ten people you have not celebrated, but would like to celebrate. You may want to go outside your comfort zone and celebrate someone who you know, but doesn’t necessarily know you. In any case, this is a person you admire and want to celebrate.
2. Choose five people on this list and put a check by their names. Mark out the other five.
3. Choose two people on the remaining list of five. Mark out the other three.
4. Take out another piece of paper. Divide the paper into two columns. Put one name at the top of each column.
5. For each person, write the when, where, what, why, and how you will celebrate this person.
6. Discuss your answers with your group or find a person or persons with whom you could do this activity.
a) Who did you choose and why?
b) Who did you not choose and why?
c) What made the person you chose a priority?
d) What are you going to do for the two people you chose?
e) How will doing this activity help you and your mission?
f) How will doing this activity help the chosen person and their mission?
g) What did you learn from this activity?
7. Celebrate the people you have chosen. Periodically repeat this activity and take time to celebrate people you might not have otherwise celebrated.
What do you think?