Thursday, November 5, 2009
Lesson on cooperation
The best lessons often come from our children.
Friday night, as fans were gathering at Marshall Academy for a football game, they heard a band.
You might not think that unusual – high school football and high school band.
But it’s somewhat of an oddity in the private school sector and perhaps in some of the smaller public schools.
High school bands, no doubt, add to the pageantry of high school football.
It was strange hearing a band at MA. I overheard one person ask another Friday in the parking lot – “Is that the West Memphis band?”
The Patriots were facing the Black Knights from West Memphis Christian.
But instead it was the Holly Springs High School Band.
Marshall had invited the group to attend and play the National Anthem before the game. And Holly Springs High School obliged. It was an example of cooperation, unity and teamwork that lots of adults need to follow.
The Hawks had a home game, too, so the band bussed across town for a brief stay at MA and then back to Sam Coopwood Park. And it was pouring rain throughout the night.
The reception for the Holly Springs High School marching band at Marshall Academy was remarkable. Fans were standing and clapping as the young people entered the stadium, superbly playing their instruments. And I saw some fans dancing a bit, too.
The outstanding band played a couple of numbers, the National Anthem and then a couple of more songs before leaving.
The young people from both Holly High and MA were smiling and enjoying themselves. I saw some from MA stopping to talk with and thank the students from Holly High.
The applause for the Holly Springs High School marching band was almost continuous throughout their visit.
It was a momentous occasion, to say the least.
It is my understanding that the band may return to Marshall Academy this Friday, perhaps for the entire game, as the Patriots host Leake Academy in the first round of the state playoffs.
Working together and moving our city forward must start with our young people. That needs to be our focus.
This is a great example.
There’s also a first-year program underway called Youth Leadership Marshall County. It is bringing together young people from all schools in Marshall County – working on team-building exercises, focusing on community projects and having fun. It’s breaking down barriers that should not exist.
For years, I’ve preached the importance of our countywide summer youth baseball and softball program.
This program, just like the Holly High band visiting Marshall Academy, is about much more than sports. It’s about togetherness. It’s about friendship. It’s about learning quickly – “That kid from that school isn’t so bad after all.”
I would urge our adult leaders in our cities and counties to put major emphasis on projects and facilities involving all of our children.
The challenge for us is to make the future better for our young people.
I believe one of the most important things we can teach our children is that no one is better than the other one.
Adults, take note.
Our children are teaching us an important lesson.
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