2 From the President
The headmistress at my As we enter the holiday season, my wish for you is to
grand-daughter’s former be reminded of the big picture without having to face
school in Houston recently adversity. The holidays provide the perfect opportunity
said, “When an event like for us to really focus on what’s important in our lives.
Hurricane Harvey occurs, the game plan for the start I think this is often accomplished through traditions.
of school goes out the window.” Somewhat Traditions are customs that are important to your
counterintuitively, she went on to say, “Our students family – something you do repeatedly. When we
benefit — especially during times of adversity — from assign meaning to a tradition, it becomes a ritual.
learning about and practicing faith, gratitude,
Some traditions are big, like extended family get-
empathy, courage, kindness and generosity.”
togethers. Some are small like having donuts on
Fridays, or a special breakfast at the beginning of
Retired U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven
talked about the same cathartic effect of adversity:
“Every painful situation and life lesson brings us closer By participating in a variety of traditions, bonds are
to our heart and the awareness of what really matters. strengthened. Maintaining rituals, big and small,
We are not alone and we are not meant to be alone. gives us a sense of identity. It reminds us that we’re
We were made for relationships and are meant to not just individuals, we’re part of a universal family
overcome challenges together.” and that we’re connected to something bigger than
When Jamie Lee Curtis was here for our
Celebrating Women luncheon in October, she talked The traditions we uphold during the holiday season,
about how important it was to “connect — truly both small and large, are important. Traditions
connect” with one another. She spoke about the power strengthen and build up the connections that are
of the human spirit — the power and potential of the important.
human and divine connection.
What traditions might you create or enhance this
A visit to the hospital has a way of muting all the
“noise” in our day-to-day lives. When I have the privilege
of briefly visiting some of our most successful citizens in
the hospital, most of them soon pick up on the fact that
the tragedy of a serious health crisis helps them focus on
what’s important. It reminds them that it’s not about
Rowland K. Robinson
fancy cars, nice houses or net worth. It reminds them
President, Baylor Health Care System Foundation
that nothing is permanent. The noise is muted.