We recently had the opportunity to work with Special Olympics Tennessee during their Summer Games at Lipscomb University. In particular, we worked their Unified Volleyball Tournament, keeping score, tracking the books, being line judges and even taking pictures of the event (Tyler).
What’s important is not the impact we had on this event, but the impact the event had on us. If you're unfamiliar with Special Olympics Unified Sports, it’s a program where athletes with and without intellectual disabilities play on the same team without preconceptions.
It was amazing to see the level of interaction, admiration, and sometimes, frustration that goes on in and between teams. No one is looked at as having a disability or not, but as athletes, teammates and friends with a common goal: to win the game, improve their skills and grow as individuals.
This concept of unity is a lesson all too often forgotten or not considered. I used a quote as the title of this blog from Aesop, “In union there is strength.” How true is that? A thought so simple, yet applicable in everything we do and everything around us. It applies to our nation, our families, kids at Special Olympics, our companies; the list can go on and on.
We as people are our strongest when we we are unified, working toward a common goal, building each other up and even being honest about our frustrations with each other, leaving room for improvement and being open to it. These Unified Special Olympics teams have it, yet as professional adults, we sometimes can't seem to get on the same page.
At Caddis, this is something we've been working on and striving to improve and is really part of our core values. After seeing it firsthand with the teams at the Special Olympics and applying it to our work environment, the holes in our process and accountability become more evident.
It’s funny how when you volunteer, you always go into it thinking about the impact you can have on lives, the difference you can make or the good you can do for others. Once you get there and take a step back, you quickly realize the positive influence or the change it has on your life. There's room for us to grow as individuals and as members of a company. When we work together with the same goals, we can be sure we're taking a collective step in the right direction.
Get out, volunteer, and always look for opportunities to grow. Be open to change in your life and ways to improve as a person. Let it be eye opening. I promise it will have a positive impact on the way you see the world, the way you communicate and even the way you do business.