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The Rock Star Servant

Dr. Randy Watts
Some of you will recall the pre-Spotify days when one had to be very intentional about one’s selection of music. When I was in high school, my friends and I would carry our carefully-curated cassette tape carrying cases around in our cars. The twenty or so tapes that one could transport were emblematic of our tastes, passions, and even identity… and we ALL had our rock guitar heroes.
The allure of the rock star is undeniable. This month, I am reminded of the heros of my youth, many of whom are represented in the Flaunt 2015: Rock On murals that canvas downtown Thomasville.

Some of you will recall the pre-Spotify days when one had to be very intentional about one’s selection of music. When I was in high school, my friends and I would carry our carefully-curated cassette tape carrying cases around in our cars. The twenty or so tapes that one could transport were emblematic of our tastes, passions, and even identity… and we ALL had our rock guitar heroes.

During listening sessions in our cars, we would find ourselves bickering about who was the greatest of all… The electronic alchemy of Jimmy Page? The other-worldly sounds squeezed out of a guitar played backwards and upside down by Jimi Hendrix? The technical precision and innovation of Eddie Van Halen? (I have sacrificed more than one pair of speakers to “Eruption” and, to this day, do not regret it.)

Many Americans were captivated by the recent visit by Pope Francis to our country. What a rock star! He was able to draw huge crowds wherever he went, command audiences of thousands, and appear larger than life. That Popemobile is a stylish ride.

In the midst of all of this attention, the greatest quality of his stardom that he showed was humility. Through his easy manner, humble attitude, and willingness to be distracted from the opportunity to meet another dignitary to offer a blessing to a child in the crowd, Pope Francis conveyed the sense that he was more eager to be a servant than to be a star.

As I shared with our Middle and Upper School students during Devotional today, I believe that there is a lot that we can learn and remember from his visit. We can find ourselves wanting to be the greatest — or arguing about who is the greatest — but the take away is that the greatest one is the servant of all.

I encourage our students to show their greatness — their leadership, skills, attributes — through their service to others. When we talk about community service, it is sometimes framed as an obligation. I suggest that it be viewed as an opportunity.

We live in a community that has a lot of advantages — and a lot of need. Brookwood has partnered with Oak Street Missions for service in the afternoons, and some of our students have shared themselves with this group. But we need more student volunteers. Hands-on Thomas County Day is approaching…The Boys and Girls Club has opportunities…

Each one of us has the potential to show greatness through our service to others.

Are you ready to rock?
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Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.