Happy Birthday! A Talk about Leadership

I sponsor a Leadership Club for the school I work. We meet once a week and I am always trying to find engaging, interactive activities for them to learn about leadership. What’s funny about me sponsoring this club is that I don’t consider myself much of leader- that is until I had someone very special come in to talk these kids about the real meaning of leadership.

My sister married a charismatic, intelligent, athletic, and successful man. I knew my students would benefit from his stories and inspirational talks. He’s one of those guys who always seems to have a smile on his face and finds the best in everything- a natural leader.

So it was only natural to ask him to come and talk about what it means to be a leader and to share some personal stories to these kids.

Let’s just say the kids didn’t know what hit them. They laughed, they thought hard, and they learned a lot.

He began his talk with singing “Happy Birthday.” When he burst into song, they were genuinely confused. When he asked them why he sang them Happy Birthday, they couldn’t answer.  He asked if they believed that it was in fact their birthday. They of course were skeptical. He explained that since we receive gifts on our birthdays and the mere fact everyday is a gift, thus making everyday our official birthday.

They smiled, thought about it and realized that any day can be a day of re-birth. Or at least that is what I thought about– What does being born really mean?

Growing up birthdays were always a time of excitement, anxiety, and sometimes trauma. It’s strange how certain days can cause so many uninviting feelings. As I get older the less excited I become- I don’t want to be reminded of my mortality.

What struck out the most for me, however, was that a person is never just born once. Finding the good in the bad is a type of re-birth. Finding a new perspective that allows liberation from oppressing, negative thoughts is another kind of re-birth. Moving on from a bad break-up– another re-birth. Forgiving someone when it would be easier to hold a grudge– is being born again.

Everyday can be a birthday- a day to celebrate the wholly, worthy human being that we all are.

What a neat concept to hand off to the kids right? How can one be a leader if they don’t see the gift in themselves? How does one lead others in the right direction if they don’t know how special they are? Well played my brother-in-law.

So Happy Birthday my friends! Celebrate you!


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