May 24, 2013

Leading by Example

At our school “E” stands for setting a good EXAMPLE for others. Walking the walk is more powerful that talking the talk and the most effective leaders are those with servant hearts. We have privileged for more than a year to be led by the example set by a young lady, a 5th grader, within the walls of our school who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma [a bone tumor] last spring.

The students at our school have a code of conduct that we refer to the PEARL rules. They are as follows:

  • Polite: Demonstrate politeness to one another and to the parent or adult in charge
  • Example: Set a good example for others
  • Attitude: Have a good, positive, and cooperative attitude
  • Respect: Show respect to adults and to your classmates
  • Listen: Pay attention and listen the the instructions and the adults in charge

This week I was graced the opportunity to attend the upper elementary Honors Day, a time set apart to honor various students for specific accomplishments throughout the academic year. It was truly an honor for me to be among the, cloud of witnesses as these, our children, were recognized for their persevering efforts since August 2012.

While I rejoiced with our son who received an Honor’s Reading Award, I also rejoiced with this young lady and her family as she was honored in a couple different areas. With hair growing back, dressed in a khaki skirt with a white shirt and a navy blue vest, and a deep-down-in-your-soul confidence, she walked on her own two feet to the front of the chapel not once self conscious about the rotationplasty she had moths over the course of her treatment.

Like our son, she has lived a lifetime in mere months. These children have navigated uncertainty with a fortitude that most adults in our culture lack. They understand realities well beyond their years death, dying, grief, and healing. They have sought to protect their parents likely as much as we, their parents have sough to protect them.

Perhaps, the greatest example has been the IN THE MOMENT way they live each day and the outpouring support that both of our families have experienced as we’ve walked through the rough waters. Countless numbers of families have served by leading by example.

Day-amazing, Red Letter, you might say!

With the permission of her parents, I have included a local news piece from last year the features this young lady and the way the boys in her class chose to show their love and support as she faced the treatment before her.

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