On our National Day of Service on Dr. Martin King’s birthday, I remain so elated by being affiliated with our movement. Hearing of all the acts of service that Girl Scouts accomplished brings me hope that we are pivotal to making our world a better place. For example, the Sunnyside Girl Scouts last weekend took their first meeting of the year to clean up a city park. Sunshine, indeed, the little things that add up fast when we are 3,000 Girl Scouts strong. Imagine how much we will move the needle when we are 5,000 Girls strong!
As your CEO, I am responsible for watching the big things: World Thinking Day, cookie sales, camp...it is where my focus is. I recently watched the movie Journal For Jordan, directed by Denzel Washington, which details the story of an essay written by Jordan’s mom for her son supported by a loving father who also penned words for his newborn son before he was killed in a roadside bomb in Iraq. For me, it was a touching movie, especially since it reminded me of an important lessons...it is the little things that matter. 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King is a motivated soldier who always tried to balance his love for his family with his love of his country and his love of his soldiers that he supported. He was a top enlisted soldier and stepped up courageously to take the ride from his buddy the day he was killed.
His words for his son in the journal help make his son into a responsible young adult. He did not talk about learning calculus or winning the football game—rather, King spoke about being a person of good character. Those are the gems of life he chose to leave his newborn son that would find traction for his son when he was in middle school and high school. The movie's epilogue indicates that Jordan grew up to be a special young man, someone who gives back like his dad. Dad would be proud.
As I watched the tear-jerking movie, I thought of our acts of kindness as we build to 110 acts of kindness by our 110th birthday in March. It is acts like our Girls did on Dr. King’s Day—for example, like my Girl Scouts making Valentine’s Day cards for senior citizens on his birthday. Interestingly, it was other memories of our Council that flooded my mind as well. Images such as Stephanie Bedard’s Troop in Omak making a Rosie the Riveter Flower Garden at a veterans’ memorial. Or Kendra Caton’s troop putting pinwheels of peace in a meridian of a busy road for World Thinking Day last year. Or so many troops from Robin Henderson’s troop to Sue Asplund’s troop passing on cookies to very tired forest firefighters in a blistering summer. Those are the small things Girl Scouts accomplished I am so appreciative of--these acts of kindness that come together to make the world a better place. What an amazing Girl Scout and volunteer team!
Journal For Jordan is a remarkable movie about a special family, but it is hard to watch because you know that tragedy is coming. One of the times where the audience winces is when the fiancée decides not to get married to King because she wants to have a big wedding, and there is no time to plan it because he is deploying too soon. Big things matter, but so do the small things. I have made an effort to go to as many of the Investitures of our Go Getter program in the last few weeks, both in Tri-Cities and Spokane. That is my commitment to honor the small things in my life too. Thirty minutes watching Girls commit to a movement of good is small in my day, but sometimes, it is the small things that matter most. Journal of Jordon clarified that fact for me. Our almost daily acts of kindness in this Council of Distinction reminds me of that. When one light is joined by so many other lights as we do in an Investiture, the whole room is lit. Truthfully, that is why Juliette Gordon Low created Girl Scouts to be a global phenomenon. A simple little fact: When you gather together a lot of little lights and acts of kindness, the world is a better and brighter place!