I am a people watcher in stadiums, airports, shopping malls and just about everywhere else. I don’t really think about it, but just seem to soak in observations of the characteristics of people around me; people often watching other people. Children in particular are watchers, with their seeming affinity for teenagers, watching these newly semi-independent and driving high school and college students. They have much in common, but yet the world of the teenager and young adult has expanded in ways that children dream of. Children, they seem to see everything. I know we are all unaware at times (maybe most of the time) of how our daily actions, words and choices can impact others. So, I want to encourage us all to mind our lines.
I did the marching band thing, so I heard a lot – A LOT – about each persons’ feet being in the designated spot at the designated times. Watching and paying attention to how individual choices impact the whole encouraged all of us to mind our lines. One person standing a half-foot off of the mark, and voila, the next thing you know a third of the line is off as well.
Mind your lines in marching band because there is a child watching and dreaming. They are seeing themselves on that field in the future. You can make sweet music of possibility.
Mind your lines on the cheerleading team as you go through carefully choreographed routines. You are displaying graceful and dynamic strength.
Mind your lines on the football field as you choose how to play with heart, reacting to challenges along the way. You are showing sportsmanship.
Mind your lines in the stadium as you call out encouragement to the team, those words can get carried away in an instant.
It is not group conformity, this minding of lines. It is much more demanding. It is leading with good choices and setting an example. It is making these good choice even when the others around you are stepping off on the wrong foot and miss the hash mark on the marching step. Mind your lines, set an example. There really are others watching and learning, it’s an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact.