My son Camden is 12 and one of 4 boys in our family.
One of the things I’ve noticed in him is a great desire to be included with and approved of by his older brother.
We just finished up a week long camping trip and one of the most memorable moments was when, one evening, his older brother came to inform him that they had moved Camden’s stuff out of the tent they had been sleeping in to make room for a cousin who had just arrived to the reunion.
Camden was devastated and tears were shed.
My heart hurt for him and as a dad, I did the best I could to tell him how amazing and valuable he was.
His mom and I made a special place for him to sleep in our camp trailer and told him we were going to have a blast hanging out and doing fun things together.
He and I walked over across the creek with the flashlight to pick up his sleeping gear to bring back to our camp trailer.
As we shined the flashlight into the tent from where his stuff had been moved, I saw my brother in laws sleeping bag, my oldest son’s sleeping bag and the new sleeping bag of the cousin who had taken Camden’s place.
There was no room left.
I thought to myself…
This has to be one of the worst feelings in life.
For someone or some group you love to say…
“You don’t belong.”
Not too long after we had moved Camden’s stuff back to our tent, his uncle Brandon showed up at our camp site to tell Camden that he had moved things around and made room for him.
Despite everything my wife and I had done to make his new situation as enticing as possible, Camden leaped at the chance to be back in the ‘In group’.
I happily helped him to move his stuff back over to his newly made space and watched the smile beam from his face and his heart as we did so.
Huge kudos to my brother in law (Camden’s uncle) for recognizing how important it is to do what we can to help people feel included.
Who knows what this one simple act will do for Camden’s confidence and his future.
We all want to be included.
We all want to feel important and valued.
We all want to know we have a place in the tent.
One of the most powerful things we can do in life (and marketing) is to help people feel like they have a space in our place.
Maybe if we can strive to see the bigger picture, and remember we’ve all been painted into this beautiful canvas of life,
…we can continue to play an enlightened role in helping the masterpiece emerge.