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A Heart Full of Grace

Last night was the Super Bowl. I'm a long suffering New York Jets fan, so as you can imagine I was not sure who I was rooting for. It was a really exciting game, very fun to watch. Despite their rep for having wild fans, I am a sucker for the big congrats Philly!

I was planning a different post for today but after last night, I was called to write this. In addition to the exciting football, I was thoroughly entertained by the halftime show. A lot of criticism for JT's performance but I honestly enjoyed it? There we some incredibly, life affirming commercials.

No matter your views, I think we can agree we are living in precarious times. We are constantly inundated with news of sexual misconduct, nuclear weapons, terrorism. I often watch the news and think, "what kind of world is my baby growing up in?" There is another perspective we can take though. Perhaps the current state of affairs is shaking things up. Some call it a reckoning or a call to action - whatever you want to call it, the times they are a'changin'.

Many of this year's Super Bowl commercials steered clear of the typical sexualization and slapstick humor we are accustomed to. Rather advertisers seemed to lean into more powerful messaging. Themes of service, overcoming obstacles, supporting the underdog were seen across many of this years Super Bowl spots.

Mass Mutual's "The Unsung" poses the question, 'how will we remember 2017?" The commercial features some of the most inspiring, life affirming stories of the year. Many stories I hadn't even heard. It made me think, this is the stuff we need publicized, this is the news we need to be seeing! These heroes should not be unsung. We hear a voice saying, "to how great we are, to how great we can be." This serves as a reminder that doing good for others is truly what makes us great!

​Budweiser's "Stand By You" brought a smile to my face. During this years natural disasters, Budweiser stopped all production of their beverages. Instead they put all their efforts toward canning and delivering water where it was needed. I hadn't heard they were doing this and it honestly took my breathe away.

​In Ram's "Built to Serve," we hear one of the most powerful voices, Dr. King, telling us,"he who is greatest among you shall be a servant, that's the new definition of greatness." I was raised on the idea that, to give back to others is simply part of the way you live life. I hope to pass this value onto Mary Clare. She will know she can be successful and happy while also serving others.

Toyota's "Good Odds," commercial caught me off guard. I was sitting with my almost 5 year old nephew when it aired. Without thinking I told him, that girl was born without legs or arms that look like ours. I didn't go to deep into it but I told him she had to work very hard to do things that are easy for us. He asked me about her prosthetic legs. He is such a bright, kind boy, he was interested in this persons differences.

I know how intimidating it feels to talk to little ones about this kind of stuff but it's so important to do it. After teaching young children for many years, I have learned that kids aren't uncomfortable about this stuff. It is typically adults that unintentionally project their own feelings onto kids. I've spoken to a room full of 5 year olds about cancer and death. Yet, I firmly believe children deserve the truth. I find it's best to speak in honest, basic terms that don't sugarcoat the truth of a difficult situation. Have the tough conversations with your kids.

These ads brought on a sense of relief and the feeling that maybe things aren't so bad after all. I have hope that my girl is growing up in a world where change is coming. A world where change is happening right now. I have big hopes that she is part of a world where she will get paid for her hard work, where she won't allow anyone to take advantage of her and where she will help anyone who needs it. There is so much good being done all around us. I believe that many small acts of good make for a great world. Here's to hope!

Last night without any big announcement my nearly 3 year old niece drew her baby cousin a picture. My brother caught this the sweet moment and it affirmed that even at 3 years old we can show our love by giving to others.

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