When I was in high school I had a softball coach whom I adored. He treated us all like his kids and I think often struggled with his coaching side and his parenting side. He was also a football coach and I suspect the way he treated “his boys” was significantly different than how he treated us. When we lost, he never yelled but it was clear he was exceptionally angry, disappointed even. It was crushing.
Once, he admitted he had a hard time figuring out how to reprimand us for our losses because we were all just such good kids. “I mean, you’re smart and you all do such good things for the community. I just wish you were more angry and mean.”
He thought we were missing killer instincts, which is why we could get so far but never all the way. He made us little signs to use when we entered the playoffs (again!) and he wanted us to go farther than we had before. The signs read B.a.B and M.a.D and they were meant to inspire us. The first one, was for Be a Bitch. I know, crazy of your teacher to tell you to be a B, but his point was not lost. We were too nice sometimes. We needed to want to win so badly that we hated our opponents, at least on the field. When we did that, our otherwise bleeding hearts, tended to harden just enough to win.
The second sign though, that is the one that stuck. It appealed to our “good girl” sides. It was the sign that said, M.a.D. He wanted us to get mad. He wanted us to be more mean, but he knew we didn’t really have that in us, so he made MaD mean Make a Difference. He knew, that if he appealed to the parts of us that wanted to change the world, he might just get us to do more. Make a Difference, get M.a.D, became a sort of rallying cry. For me, it became indelibly imprinted on my brain. If this guy that I admired so much, believed I could make a difference on a softball field, than why couldn’t I do that in grander areas of life?
So, it should come as no surprise to Coach H. that when I was thinking of something to call the portion of this blog that will be heretofore dedicated to Social Good, I wasted no time resurrecting M.a.D. For here, on Right Hand Mom, I want nothing more than to use my voice to make a difference and if that means getting mad at the way things are done right now, well, I’ve seen that getting mad is often a pretty effective strategy for change.
We never won a State Championship, but we did get farther than the year before and we hung with some pretty incredible teams longer than anyone thought we could. We set out to Make a Difference and we did just that. I know I can’t single-handedly change the world. Hell, I might not even be able to make any real changes from right here on this blog. But I can use my voice to educate and even inspire others to do more. I can Make a Difference, even off the field.
From now on, we’ll have M.a.D Mondays. At the beginning, I may just talk about Sandy relief efforts, because I refuse to let the collective mind put the people affected on the back burner. So going forward, there will be Make a Difference posts on here that will inform and hopefully inspire people so that we are all compelled to get M.a.D enough to change the world.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.