Living by the McMurphy Principle

We can do no better than running the race set before us and cheering on those who are faster, even those who are slower, and, especially, those we view as obstacles. Somewhere, somehow, someway we must come together and run the best race possible. Be an encourager. Goodness knows, we all need a little right now." -- Dr. David O'Shields

Kolman McMurphy is our band director. He is an outstanding find for us in Clinton. His band produces a clean, crisp, clear tone … even though there are far fewer in the band than he deserves. He and his students work as hard as any team or organization … and they have nowhere to go except for football games.

Yet they practice on simply because they love it and they want to get better.

Is this the McMurphy Principle?

No. Well, what then?

Last week, when the cross-country team was running in the county championship at Clinton High School, there was a banner titled “Run, Forest, Run!” attached to the band director’s podium in full view of the teams. Who put up this banner? The band. 

They didn’t have to do anything special for the cross-country team, but they did. They chose to think of more than themselves. And I am sure Mr. McMurphy had a hand in getting this prominent hand-painted banner in view of the cross-country team as they prepared to start their meet.

That is the McMurphy Principal … doing for others when you don’t have to … but just because you want to.

Next week, we will have to opportunity to vote in the election for national, state, and local leaders. Do we have to vote? No. Nobody will fuss at you if you don’t, but I think we should all take the time to do so…if not for ourselves then for others.

Further, we should live our lives protecting others especially during this critical time in the pandemic. I fully stand by the decision to start school face-to-face with a virtual option. I think we have worked, no, scratch that, I KNOW we have worked hard in the schools and across the district to mitigate infection and contact trace with the best of them.

But we can’t do it alone. Far too many people are continuing to focus on themselves to the exclusion of others…and that is a violation of the McMurphy Principle. I also think it is a violation of the Golden Rule.

We must come together as a country if we are to ever make gains. Name any field of endeavor … more good things happen with teamwork.

We have become so blooming polarized we can’t agree on anything.  Except not to agree on anything!

What’s worse is we demean others by calling them names. There is no need to cite any, too many abound. Nothing is more dehumanizing than a category, a name, and a winner-loser attitude.

Far too many times adults have been the worst of role models. No wonder our children are so confused by how we adults act.

I pray we learn from this pandemic, from all this political caterwauling, and from the distracting noises. 

Why don’t we recommit to the McMurphy Principle? Let’s support those who are racing as best they can over obstacles, up hills, and through the muck that we may never encounter ourselves. Rather than saying anything, the CHS band’s sign spoke volumes to all the county runners…” Run, Forest, Run!” 

We can do no better than running the race set before us and cheering on those who are faster, even those who are slower, and, especially, those we view as obstacles.

Somewhere, somehow, someway we must come together and run the best race possible. Be an encourager. Goodness knows, we all need a little right now.

My Clinton News

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Clinton, SC 29325
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