When we we re kids we played outside during the long summer days, often playing some form of tag…newspaper tag or possibly freeze tag…whatever the version, we spent hours outside playing until it was dark. “Tag, you’re it!” Could he beard all over the neighborhood as we frolicked for hours. 

During these games we learned how to win, how to lose, how to interpret the rules, how to resolve conflict, how to be ‘it’ and how to run like the dickens. Kids of all sizes, ages and colors played, and we played hard. I was a girl surrounded by boys and yet in the game I was as equal as my spindley legs could carry me…which was not a far as the boys, so I was all too often ‘it’. But I worked to hold my own and play with all the big kids – to my brothers’ shagrin. It was fun  and I wanted to be part of the fun. 

As I got older I attended high school with that group of boys. I had know them for years and they knew me. I was the envy of every freshmen girl because I knew the senior guys…they were cool and older, and they knew my name – to my brothers’ shagrin. They spoke to me in the hall and helped me when my locker got stuck. All that ‘cool’ knew me because I had the guts to try to keep up when we were playing tag so many years earlier. I admired those young men, they treated me fairly and acknowledged my existence at a time when THAT was not cool.

I encourage you to have the guts to work and keep up with the older, more mature, cool crowd. It might seem tough at the time and well beyond your skills, but keep trying. The hard work will pay off and you will be better for the challenge. Respect is earned not given, it is kept alive by passion and a willingness to fail and get up to try again. So play along…”Tag,  You’re it!”