the torch Winter 2017, Issue 4 | Page 4

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: school. “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 ourselves. 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 holiday season? “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 [email protected] that nothing is permanent. The noise is muted. 4 4