Just Do Right

As you decide on how you might have a better 2020 by making a list of things you plan to improve on, I’d like to make a suggestion for both you and me.

In 1996, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), the governing body for high school athletics in the state, established a campaign that simply said to “Just Do What’s Right.”  It even established the “Right Team” to undergird the mantra across the state that still exists today.

Even if you are familiar (vaguely or otherwise) with the campaign, you may not realize that it originated from a legendary West Tennessee educator.  The administration of the TSSAA came up with the campaign slogan by stealing a line from former Coach and Principal from Humboldt, Jim Poteete.  “Coach Po” served on the TSSAA’s Board of Control, representing Northwest Tennessee.  Faced with a difficult decision on the Board, he would often look around the room and state, “Boys, just do right here.”  Talking to former teachers that served with Coach Po or students that either played for him as football coach or walked the halls during his tenure as Principal, he would dish out that same advice to students.  His mantra was to “Just Do Right.”

Sounds so simple.  Yet, the implications are huge.  I’m going to let one of my favorite thinkers and writers from the 20th century, Maya Angelou, say it much better than me in the video below.  My favorite excerpt is a line that I’ve dedicated to memory:

“Right may not be expedient.  It may not be profitable.  But, it will satisfy your soul.”

I wish for each of you reading this that your next 366 days are phenomenal for you – personally, spiritually, financially, and that you wake each day with purpose and clarity.

In 2020, may we not look for the easy route.  Or the selfish one.  But, may we choose to Just Do Right.

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