The Monday Memo
January 12, 2015 PITT DPT STUDENTS
“Stuart Scott and the Ripple Effect”
Honestly, I wish I wasn’t writing this.
Don’t get me wrong, I always truly enjoyed the experience of writing these memos over the last year, but this week’s piece comes as the result of an unfortunate circumstance. Last year, I wrote about ESPN broadcaster Stuart Scott as he was receiving the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at 2014’s ESPY awards. We lost Mr. Scott on January 4th, 2015.
Since then, I have been closely watching the outpouring of affection towards Stuart, trying to understand the impact this man left on popular culture. Each broadcaster, athlete, or popular figure paying reverence to Stuart spoke to his tremendous perseverance in the face of unspeakable odds. Scott was “full of life; this doesn’t mean the most gregarious one at the party… this means someone who battled cancer head on three times, and never lost his great attitude about beating it, and never lost his drive and energy in fighting it”, ESPN anchor Chris Berman said of Scott.
I went back to Scott’s powerful ESPY awards speech from last July. I watched it over and over again. This man’s strength and will, accompanied by his cool temperament and positive nature, were captivating and stunning. Two quotes stuck out beyond any other:
“Our life’s journey is about the people who touch us.”
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So Live. Live! Fight like hell.”
When you fight your hardest, you do not lose. You grow. The manner in which you grow, and the way in which you face that adversity can deeply impact those around you, creating a ripple effect, of sorts. The ripple you make takes that “growth” to others. In essence, your spirit, your drive, your growth is never lost because if the effect you have is the right one, that ripple never really ends. Those who see positive action implement it in their own lives, and those around them will be impacted by that positive change. Stuart’s attitude exemplifies that positive ripple effect. The inspiration to do more comes from Scott’s “full of life” persona.
Rest in Peace, Stuart Scott. Your ripple effect will be felt for years to come.
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