Sharks & Minnows

Posted by Larry in

I arrived at the pool during free time on Thursday to be met with cheers of, "Larry's here, Larry's here." My friend Tom turned to me and said, "Man, you're a legend" as we walked along the sidewalk together. Wow! What a feeling.

We all want any group of people to make us feel welcome because it is no fun feeling like an outsider. When we are accepted we feel great.our defenses are down, we feel comfortable, and we feel like we can be ourselves. But I must admit that being welcome doesn't hold a candle to showing up somewhere and being met with cheers of joy. To know that there is a group of individuals that is excited that you have shown up and even had been hoping that you would is an overwhelming feeling. (It brings tears to my eyes as I type these words.)

If you will indulge me just a moment maybe you can appreciate the context of what I felt as I showed up...

There are a few of us at summer camp that have ventured into the water year after year to play the game Sharks & Minnows with the students during free time. The game begins by designating one person to be the shark and by default all of the other players become minnows. All minnows go to one side of the pool and the shark goes to the middle. When the shark yells go, all minnows must brave the treacherous water and try and make it the length of the pool without being dunked by the shark. Each minnow that is dunked becomes a shark and all surviving minnows attempt another round and this is continued until there are no more minnows. The last minnow surviving becomes the shark and a new game is started.

It seems simple and somewhat trivial to be writing about a game played in the pool but the students crave this time of interaction with several of the counselors. i don't know why they are individually excited about this water game, but I imagine that we are meeting some need in their lives by making ourselves available to have our arms, legs, and necks twisted up like pretzels.  As we each show up one by one and are greeted with cheers and excitement it warms our hearts in a way that is truly unexplainable. All I know is that I would rather be nowhere else.

It is a great feeling to be celebrated for sure. If you are like me, I know that you would rather be celebrated rather than tolerated. So I leave you with these two questions:

1) What reason do you give others to celebrate your presence?

2) What reason do you have to celebrate someone's presence?

This entry was posted on Friday, July 17, 2009 at Friday, July 17, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .