Sometimes at the strangest places, insight can hit!
Last week, standing at the Fort Benning Infantry museum, watching soldier after soldier exit the building in their uniforms – matching browns and boots and caps – I realized the sheer, amazing power and blessing that it is to adorn a uniform. Sure, these young men were wearing a uniform meant to unite them in battle as they give their lives so selflessly to protect the freedoms that most of us take for granted – but each and every one was identifiable in their cause simply by the clothes that they were wearing on their back.
No matter what their differences were when they woke up that morning, when they put on their uniform that day, the differences were gone. They had to be.
It made us think of ALL our athletes.
On any given weekend, you show up to the softball field and there are hundreds upon hundreds of girls, each one wearing a uniform that links them and binds them to a team.
Whether our kids play fast-pitch softball, basketball, cheerlead, golf, or any other activity – for a rec league, travel team or school team – the one thing that remains the same is that each and every day that they participate they consciously wear a uniform that connects them to something that is much, much bigger than just themselves.
And to wear a uniform means something!
It is a blessing in and of itself, and something that we at SIFG believe our kiddos should not take lightly.
To wear a uniform means that you belong to something.
It means that regardless of your age, color, body size, religion, creed, background or anything that else that may typically separate us from one another – you are connected to and responsible for the well-being of a larger whole.
To wear a uniform means that you share a common goal with others and have COMMITTED to working towards that common goal – no matter what!
To wear a uniform means that you have been CHOSEN to be a representative of not just oneself, but of the ENTIRE TEAM as well.
When our kids put on their jerseys, they are suddenly responsible for positively representing their coaches, their parents, their teammates, their schools or organizations. And everything that they do (negative or positive) while they are wearing that uniform will leave an impression of the larger whole, of the team – in the minds of everyone they encounter.
This means that when our girls go out in public wearing their uniforms, they suddenly ARE RESPONSIBLE for representing MORE than just themselves.
Their behavior and actions while wearing the uniform become part of a legacy, a reputation. The character of our children becomes the character of the team, or the school, or the organizations that they represent.
This also means that when we, as the adults, sit on the sidelines wearing our uniform of team colors and team names – we too, are responsible for upholding the integrity of the team. And we are also responsible for SHOWING our children through our example, of what it means to be part of something bigger than just us.
Our kids are a responsible party for not only upholding the integrity of the name on the front of their jerseys, but for the name on the back of their jerseys as well! And we firmly believe that our kiddos need to recognize this responsibility and act accordingly.
Because to wear a uniform, of any kind, is a PRIVELEGE!
To wear a uniform is much more than just matching colors on game day, or ‘buying’ the clothes.
A uniform shows solidarity, and just like the soldiers at Fort Benning, it means that you have agreed in every way, shape and form to fight for and compete for – the united goals of the team from the moment you put on that uniform until the time you take it off; whether you are happy, mad or sad – or having a good day or a bad day.
That just like a soldier in the field, our kids cannot suddenly decide that drama, or negativity, or personal beliefs, or ill feelings somehow nullify what it means to wear the uniform and be part of the team they have been CHOSEN for.
That no matter what they have to keep going, keep fighting, and keep their TEAM GOALS in mind, because it is not about one person and their feelings.
To wear a uniform means that you have been blessed, and chosen and given an extended family that has your back just like you have theirs.
To wear a uniform means that you have given up the right to be selfish.
To wear a uniform means that you have invested in, committed to, and are responsible to the other people wearing the same uniform. No excuses. No limits. No exceptions.
But mostly, to wear a uniform means that the WE is greater than the ME!
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