The Yellow Ribbon

I had the opportunity to spend the day watching my boys participate in their all school track and field day.  Of course, if you know me, a few days prior I was worried that it would be really hot and that I would have to figure out how to stay cool with out getting “funky” tan lines, BUT to my pleasant surprise, it was cool, overcast, and dry – a PERFECT day for this special event.

Each class of students from kindergarten through 8th grade wore their class colored t-shirt.  Zane’s was orange and Zachary’s just happened to be PINK.  Yes, pink, not a light pink, but a BRIGHT fuschia-pink.  Believe me, I had a slight battle at home this morning getting my little athlete to put this t-shirt over his head, but eventually he did.  Pink is NOT a color that exists in my boys’ closets and after today I’m pretty sure we will be donating that cute little ‘t’ to one of my friends daughters OR the good will.

There must’ve been a couple hundred people at the track; students, teachers, other school staff members, parents, and grandparents.  Everyone was there to cheer each other on, volunteer, encourage, and support all the participants.  The kids had so much fun and worked really hard at each event – giving it their all!

When the time came at the end of the day to tally up all the scores, times, distances and determine who took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each event, my mind instantly went to the “underdog.”  I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for kids who get left out, who aren’t as “popular”, or get teased.  This kind of reminds me of when I was younger in gym class – when the gym teacher elected 2 captains and had the captains pick the kids THEY wanted on their team.  Do you know what I’m talking about, do you remember?  Frequently, I was one of the last ones picked so this is a vivid memory for me.  I’m over it now, but it has definitely left a tender place in my spirit for others that get picked last or don’t “win.”

At the award ceremony everyone received a purple participation ribbon.  The smiles glowed on the faces of those who were called up individually to receive either a blue 1st place, red 2nd place, or white 3rd place ribbon – they were so proud of their accomplishment.  The older kids seemed to be more competitive, paying close attention to who got what and how many.

The last and final ribbon was YELLOW it was the Good Sportsmanship Ribbon and only 2 were given for each grade, one to a girl and one to a boy.  I was sitting at the table with the 4th grade boys; there are only 6 boys in my sons class, so imagine the competitiveness.  All were anxiously awaiting to hear which 1 of the 6 would get the ONLY yellow ribbon.  The teacher called up the boy who she felt earned this award and spoke briefly as to why he was chosen.  A few of the words she used to describe him were:  positive attitude, encouraging, helpful, joyful.

Zachary’s classmate was proud to be awarded that special ribbon along with his purple participation ribbon.  As he walked back to the table and took his seat, another classmate said something that impressed me, his name is Ryan.  He looked up from his pile of Red, White, and Blue’s and said to me, “The yellow ribbon is really the most important ribbon – it really is.”  I smiled and shook my head, I agreed.

As I drove away from that fun filled day, I got to thinking about life – I know, I seem to be doing a lot of DEEP REFLECTION lately.  But I couldn’t help to think about what Ryan said.  He’s right – it’s about attitude, being positive, encouraging others, helping, and having joy – REGARDLESS if you WIN or LOSE!!  In this “rat race” of life, keeping our sights focused on earning the yellow ribbon is truly what matters…….it’s MOST important.

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  1. Shayla Smart says:

    This gets you thinking and I agree, good sportsmanship in life is something of great importance.

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