If-you-dont-think-thatLast week, my oldest son participated in his school’s swimming carnival.

Hayden’s a reasonable swimmer and loves to compete, but he has a friend who is an extraordinary swimmer.

At the age of ten, Charlotte is already swimming in open water events over very long distances and is a fish in the water.

After Charlotte’s first race (which she won convincingly), Hayden asked if she had heard him cheering her on.

She smiled and said, “no.”

So in her next race, he cheered even louder and after she won that one, she beamed and said that she had heard him.

It was a great moment between two good friends and it reminds us of an important principle.

You see, Hayden’s cheering wasn’t responsible for her winning, her years of dedicated practice did that.

This was about sharing a moment.

About celebrating victory with someone else.

About providing support, regardless of the result.

I always tell my kids that they should never be too embarrassed to encourage someone.  We live in a world full of cynicism, aloofness and downright nastiness, so to be someone’s cheerleader means a lot.

I don’t mean liking a tweet from your favourite athlete or leaving a sycophantic comment for someone famous (although that is nicer than trolling them).

I’m talking about finding a friend or family member that you can cheer on as they embark on an adventure or compete in the world.

And if you don’t think that they can hear you, cheer louder!

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