Many thanks to Jerry Csaki, of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for bringing Harry Carson, New York Giants Linebacker, Team Captain, Superbowl Champion ’86, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and author of the recent Captain for Life, to Suffern Middle School on Friday, March 9. Mr. Carson spoke to Jennie Narcisco’s grade 6 and Russell Rice’s grade 8 in two sessions about the 6 Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
Suffern Middle School hosted two multipoint videoconference sessions with Mr. Carson for eight schools nationwide in partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jerry Csaki facilitated the discussion so that students from each school had a chance to ask questions.
Harry Carson exemplified the 6 Pillars of Character in his courteous manner and inspiring words. He spoke about how values on the field and as Captain mirror positive values on life’s playing field.
Mr. Carson’s message was in essence two nuggets of wisdom:
1) Be a Hall of Famer in life.You have your life ahead of you. Strive to be the best you can.
2) His mother always told him to be nice to people. At the end of the day we are all God’s creations and we are all the same. We don’t know what people are going through or who they are or how we will affect their lives.
Each hour, however, was packed with such wisdom from Mr. Carson that I have listed a sampling here:
- Life is a journey and so you need to prepare yourself for all the obstacles that you may encounter. There will be bumps in the road.
- Be a ‘Hall of Famer’ friend and student.
- Strive to be the best that you can be. At the end of the day when you walk away from school, ask yourself, ‘Did I do the best that I can do?’
- There are situations in life in which you want to throw up your hands and walk away, but you have to do it.
- When I give of my self, I feel blessed. It’s about being a good citizen. It’s the right thing to do.
- We need to take care of one another, we need to bring out the best in one another. We are all caring individuals. If there is an opportunity to show our care for one another we should do it.
- Adversity brings people together. Especially on a team, that’s really when people bind and come together, when you have adversity in schools, that’s truly when schools come together.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- One of the most important things you can do is to get the best education you can get.
- My mother always told me, just be nice to people. Make the time to listen to what people have to say. It’s easier to be a nice person. You don’t know what another person is going through.
- Don’t let it get you down when people are mean to you. Just smile and go about your business. It reflects more on them than on you.
- A leader steps forward, takes risks, moves forward and says, ‘I’ll do it.’
- Anybody can be a leader. It’s about leading by example, not talking the talk, but walking the walk.
- We are not always going to get what we want. Life is that way. Sometimes you will hit the ball out of the park and sometimes you will fail. Life is that way. Take it in stride.
- Inspire those around you to be great. There are people who took their time to inspire me, that’s why I am here. I enjoy giving back.
- There’s not a lot that separates us in life. At the end of the day we all seek the same thing: we want to be loved, we want to be respected, we want to live life to best of our abilities. Doing the right thing is simple.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Distance Learning Goals/Objectives:
Define the 6 Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
Demonstrate understanding of the traits associated with the 6 Pillars of Character.
Demonstrate understanding of how good character is essential for achieving success in life.
Be inspired to live more meaningful and effective lives by incorporating new insights regarding good character into their daily lives.
National Standards met:
Family and Consumer Sciences: 12.0-Analyze factors that impact human growth and development; 13.0-Demonstrate respectful and caring relationships in the family, workplace, and community.