Find Your Greatness, Carl.
The headline of this Wednesday’s Struming obviously refers to Nike’s latest ad campaign, “Find Your Greatness” which airs frequently in sports programming. It’s a terrific campaign and there are a series of commercials, but the one which “won the gold” is the spot with the overweight pre-teen, Nathan, running directly at the camera from a long distance.
The idea is simply that there is greatness in all of us, and the challenge for each of us is to find our unique strengths. This idea is far more powerful that the expected glamorization of the star athlete for the brand du jour which we’ve all seen 1000 times. Perhaps greatness for most of us is in effort, focus and seeking a goal.
This brings me to today’s Struming about our son, Carl. Next week Carl will be leaving home to begin his freshman year at the University of Connecticut. Carl is our youngest child of two. His older sister, Carolyn, works events at WFAN as a promotions assistant. She’s a sports fanatic and a young sports marketing professional, while Carl is more focused on music. He’s a terrific guitarist and is in a good band, Hold Your Own. Carolyn and Carl each have unique strengths. My wife, Beth, and I are proud of our children and, as with virtually all parents, we want them to succeed and find happiness.
Carl is an excellent student and a terrific kid. He has many friends, a nice girlfriend, and is very likeable. At his bar mitzvah a few years ago I spoke to him about the greatness within him.We saw it then and even more now. What I told him is that he has a special creativity to look at situations in unique ways. I often find myself asking, “How Did He Think of That?” I also told him that those whose life he touched were enriched by their relationship with him. Perhaps that’s what his greatness will be.
Any parent whose child goes off to school understand the conflicting emotions. Happy for their child and the next chapter, yet sad that they will miss them. The next couple of weeks will be emotional for many parents as “our babies” go off. As Carl departs, we haven’t forgotten the little boy who loved his stuffed koalas (and still does). But he is a little boy no more. He is a man with an exciting future.
Good luck, Carl. Find your greatness. We have great hopes for you.