Jim Valvano was absolutely right about the 3 things you should do every day

Jim Valvano was absolutely right about the 3 things you should do every day

Readers of this blog likely know that I love quotes. Compiling wise words from eloquent, insightful individuals delights me.

In fact, I went back and realized that I have written more than 20 posts  about in the three and a half years I've been writing this blog.

I've shared quotes from a variety of sources, including Nelson Mandela, Dr. Seuss and the Cubs' Manager Joe Maddon, on a wide variety of topics, from parents' night to most holidays, including Thanksgiving. Actually, I have two posts of Thanksgiving quotes. What can I say? There are a lot of good ones.

For tonight's Blogapalooza, a writing exercise that gives ChicagoNow bloggers a common topic and exactly one hour to write and publish a post on it, I was a bit perplexed when I saw the topic: "Share your favorite quote (or quotes) -- from a philosopher, author, comedian, politician, friend, family member, movie, whoever -- and write in detail about why it resonates and has meaning for you."

I did some searching (hence how I knew how many quote posts I've written) and determined that I haven't covered one of my favorite quotes from Jim Valvano:

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

I've loved that quote ever since I heard Valvano say it while accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the ESPY Awards in March 1993. (You can see the speech below or read the full transcript of Valvano's speech here.) Valvano died of cancer the next month.

As I thought about that quote tonight, for the first time I may have realized that tweens and teens often do all three of those things in a day without thinking much about it. And that's pretty awesome.

Maybe they're on to something.

Of course, it may be because they're the victims of crazy hormones running wild throughout their bodies. Mandatory school attendance may help with the thinking portion, too, but I think we all know kids spend a lot of time thinking about things not at all related to school, including when they're in school.

I love how easily our kids laugh when they are with their friends. And sometimes they share thoughts that floor us parents. And their tears may break our hearts, but they are often signs of sweet and tender hearts that are compassionate.

Something about being a tween and teen means that you really feel everything and live life to the fullest. While that's often really hard (for them and for their parents), it's also beautiful. It's brutiful, as Glennon Melton of Momastery says.

These years present an amazing opportunity for us parents. We can and should encourage our older children to feel their emotions, to laugh easily, and to use their amazing brains. We can and should do that not just by telling them, but by being an example. We can let them know that laughing, crying, and thinking are great ways to live life to the fullest, to truly be alive, to be something special.

Click here to see posts by other ChicagoNow bloggers about their favorite quotes and why.

Prior Post: 9 great subscription boxes for teens and tweens, 2015 edition

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