Game-Changing Words

Game-Changing Words

This week’s inspiration comes from a football player, one who was not in the Super Bowl. His name is Shaquem Griffin and he won the NFL’s Game Changer award on Saturday night.

You may recall the 60 Minutes segment that profiled Shaquem and his twin brother, who both play for the Seattle Seahawks. Shaquem was born with amniotic band syndrome and lost his left hand when he was four years old.

But he didn’t lose his dream to play football in the NFL.

A dramatic introductory film highlighted his first season’s successes, hushing the audience. When his name was announced, he made his way to the podium to accept the award. He smiled, acknowledged the thunderous applause, and then paused.

“You know I wrote a speech,” he began. “But I don’t want to say that speech.”

So he ditched the teleprompter and spoke straight from the heart.

“Growing up as a child, being told what I couldn’t do, it can weigh heavy on your heart. But I had family. I had my brothers. I had those around me, to keep my head straight, to keep my hopes high. And now, I can truly say I’m truly blessed and honored to be in front of you.”

The cameraman found Shaquem’s mom and brother in the audience, their beaming faces wet with tears. What a journey that family must have had!

How did they do it? I wondered.

Two phrases kept coming back to me, prompting my own tears.

…keep my head straight …keep my hopes high.

If those aren’t game-changing words I don’t know what are! How fortunate he was to be so loved and supported at home.

If I’m honest, it’s what I struggle to do every day. Keeping my head straight—the perspective to know what’s realistic and what’s not. Keeping my hopes high—choosing to stretch and hope within that reality.

Coping and hoping. That’s what getting through life is all about, isn’t it? Finding a way to deal with the life we have, using the gifts we’ve been given to make the best of it.

“Do not let negativity dictate who you’re going to become,” Shaquem concluded. “You have a choice to live your life in a positive way.”

Yet, as Shaquem experienced and shared, we cannot do it alone. We need positive people around us to support us, to encourage us. I know my mom and dad did that for me. I pray I’ve done the same for my children. And I hope in some small way I can figure out how to do more of that for my family and friends.

Game-changing support and game-changing encouragement can lead to game-changing determination and, yes, all kinds of possibilities!

So, congrats, Shaquem, for all you’ve accomplished, for all you’ve learned, for the game you’ve changed, and most of all, for the game-changer you will be for others. Thank you for your inspirational words.

How about you? Have you ever experienced game-changing support? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Thanks for the Tidying Up responses, confessions, and encouragement! I sorted through three generations of recipe cards during the Super Bowl. Yawn. At least I was productive.

More Tidying Up in process. Keep the pics coming. So inspiring! #LetsGo

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