Once upon a time, the term "winning" was just a term. No hashtag, no celebrity following, just a word in the dictionary. A gerund, to be exact.
Then somewhere along the way, social media picked it up after a certain celebrity used it in a very public manner and suddenly, it became a way to announce to the world...I am a success. I am to be envied. I have achieved.
But this begs the question: how does one achieve that illustrious winning status? How does one become worthy of that hashtag and why do I bring it up in this blogpost?
Because of this young man I am about to introduce you to. He is a winner. He is hashtag winning. Sort of ironic and apropos since the celebration of his entrance into the adult world as a winner was at none other than Dave & Buster's, the home of the Winner's Circle. So, how did I make this determination? Did I reference a book called Five Steps to #winning? No, I just observed.
I observed the number of people willing to be there with him on his Bar Mitzvah day.
I observed his family, from the littlest brother up to the grandparents who could not contain their love or pride for him both at the reception and at his synagogue, Beth Tikvah B'nai Jeshurun. I have never seen such a group of people be so collectively joyful and prideful over one young man. Not just because he is their family, but because his accomplishments were their accomplishments. The men and women in his life who were as overjoyed as he was to take this day to celebrate this milestone event.
I observed his friends. I was astounded at the sheer number of kids, tweens, teens, and young adults all gathered with unabashed pride and joy to celebrate this young man. No one sat at their table, scrolling through tweets, updating statuses, or checking scores. No, they were up and dancing and laughing and loving this most wonderful young man. No one was there begrudgingly, they were there happily and willingly!
I observed the party. The party that started and didn't stop until the staff had to shut it down. Not one moment passed where someone was not dancing or celebrating or playing or enjoying themselves as only a winning party can do. A party so grand, it even had a surprise visit from a group that was dressed up in such a way and entertained in such a way, it can only be for a winner. Who were these entertainers? Mmmmm....you have to look down to find out!
But most of all, I observed this young man who started the day as a boy and ended as a man. This boy who was so respectful and compassionate; this boy who was eager to please others and didn't seem to be stymied by the burden of the day on his shoulders. This quiet young man who has a soul and an understanding of the world that is well beyond his years. With eyes as deep as can be and curls as tight as can be, this boy is a triumph. This boy who was equally comfortable posing for selfies with his troupe of fans as he was with gingerly caring for his baby brother or sitting still while his Grammie and other grandparents lavished him with the sort of unadulterated praise that only a grandmother can lather up. This boy who surely will be a success at life. This boy who has done so much right in his thirteen short years, the path ahead of him knows no bounds. This boy..no, this man; he is a winner.