Michael’s Message - To Celebrate and Be Celebrated
You may not remember every party you have ever been to, but I would wager that some of the fondest memories you hold are from celebrations where you were the guest of honor .. where you were celebrated for a special birthday, a baptism, a graduation, a job promotion, or for being a military or civilian hero.
Maybe you were the top sales rep in your office or company, the employee or volunteer of the month or quarter or year. You could have won a tennis, golf, karate, or poker tournament, or been valedictorian of your class. Writing, acting, serving others, performing musically – there are so many reasons we celebrate each other. Perhaps you remember the bittersweet emotions of a party held because you were moving away from friends you held dear to take a job in another state, or the party someone threw for you the day you retired from a long and satisfying career.
Celebrating each other doesn’t have to include cake and ice cream and streamers. It can be as small and simple as listing to others’ life stories, compliment them, and laughing at their jokes. We can share a meal or a walk or a newspaper crossword puzzle together. When we hold someone else in high esteem and speak well of them to others, we celebrate them. We need to do more of that.
True community is to:
- Know and be known
- Love and be loved
- Serve and be served
- Celebrate and be celebrated
Celebrating each other is important at every stage of life; and even in death, we celebrate a life well lived. Yes, we all want to be remembered and cherished, and a party of sorts thrown when we die. But how sad if we let someone pass away before we celebrate them. So we need to set a goal to celebrate people as much as we can in the here-and-now, while all parties can enjoy the party!
That is why we have volunteers at Shipley Center who take the time to celebrate you in a small way by writing and sending a birthday card to you every year. It’s why we honor volunteers of the quarter with a trophy, and why volunteers get personalized nametags, pins for milestones of service, and 10-year blue volunteer vests with their names stitched onto them.
We are celebrating people, not just for what they do for us, but for who they are … their lives and accomplishments; their wisdom and knowledge; their smiles and sense of adventure; their caring and generosity. Celebrating others is a way of showing gratitude and respect, and as I repeat, we need to do more of that.
As we celebrate together, we form a sort of community. W. Hybels of the Global Leadership Summit, says, “True community is to know and be known, love and be loved, serve and be served, and to celebrate and be celebrated”.
In closing, I celebrate you, your faithful membership in Shipley Center, your active participation, your volunteer hours, your leadership of an activity, your service on our board of directors, your generosity, and your support in every other way.
Thanks so much; you are appreciated!