Pushing the right buttons

I am certain that those of us who have raised kids will immediately understand what “button-pushing” really means. It seems that even as babies, our children learn very rapidly how to win a concession by pushing all of the right buttons. This skill is brought to a fine level of development if one is fortunate enough to have a predominance of girls. At least, that is my own personal experience.

How many shoes and purses does one human being really need? Please don’t ask me to answer this question, as my answer is apparently very wrong. My kids are all grown, but I am still learning.

Button-pushing can become a very important part of adult life as well. Sometimes this activity can take on sinister and destructive forms.

Fortunately, there are many “good buttons” to push. They all embrace some elements of caring, courtesy, selflessness and service to others.

A most recent example of good button possibility that has presented itself to us here at work is the State Employees Combined Campaign. On Friday, Chancellor Ballard announced the following:

“I am writing to ask for your financial support of the 2011 State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) which will begin Monday, October 3. Through your contributions, the SECC is able to assist thousands of people in North Carolina and across the nation who need a helping hand. Last year, our faculty and staff contributed $191,743 that was distributed to hundreds of SECC recognized agencies. During the 2010 campaign, 1,036 individuals from across the University participated. Our goal is to have a 5% increase in participation this year. That is only 52 additional participants and we need your participation to meet our goal.”

The chancellor asks us to showcase our community leadership” and give “a bit more this year.” Our own ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation is one of the potential beneficiaries of the campaign. Please remember that charity can start at home!

We here at Brody are generous people and have ample opportunity every day to “push the right buttons.” We are in the right “business.” Please be careful then to be a disciplined and caring button-pusher, as you share your capacity, love and kindness with others. I think that this will mean even more this year.

Hope to see you soon. And Go Pirates!!!


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