As we prepare to take our theatre troupe of 25 extraordinary kids down to Disney to compete in a Theatre Festival, that got me to wondering, how do I define if a kid is a winner or not? One might logically say, well if they get a trophy, then they are a winner. But all a trophy really is, is just some plastic, wood and screws. I don’t think that defines a winner to me. You might say, the ones who score highest in whatever their competing at would be the winner and technically, yes you are right, but I believe being a winner is much more than a score. Also, way more important.
I know, I know, it’s cliché to say everyone is a winner in our eyes so I am not going to say it. I think a winner is someone who learned the valuable lesson to be learned in their competition journey.It’s not about beating someone out, or being better than someone else. I believe you are a winner if you became a changed person on your journey. Looking around our rehearsal the other day, filled with kids with last remainders of flu and fever. Garbed in surgical masks, and armed with hand sanitizer, these children looked as though have been through a battle. But you know, they got themselves out of bed and made it through 4 hours of rehearsals not because someone made them, but because they felt obligated to their fellow cast members.
When one of our older kids has been frustrated with one of our youngest members all year with their lack of focus and experience, stops and realizes to accept them for what they are and praise them for what they do right instead of pointing out their faults. A youngster who only cared about their role at the beginning of this journey, realizes its not about the individual, it’s about the group as a whole.
These kids have learned the value of self discipline, perseverance, accepting everyone with faults and all, how to take criticism and learn from it and the value of friendship. This is what defines a winner in my eyes, So yes, these kids have already won in my eyes. Any trophy the receive is just icing on the cake. We have watched these kids overcome, their own personal road blocks and forge ahead with a passion for life. These kids have learned about compassion for others and acceptance of them, warts and all. Each of these kids have navigated their own personal journey, and have made it through to the other side stronger than they were at the beginning. They have won the competition.