Chuck Pagano, the coach of the Indianapolis Colts, wrote an open letter on January 5 to Colts football fans in The Indianapolis Star which demonstrates the fundamental heart and positiveness that Americans across the country display every day.
Pagano was named the Colts coach in January 2012 as the Colts were coming off a dismal season. In one season he has brought the team back to being in the playoffs. In October he was diagnosed with leukemia and had to step aside temporarily as coach for treatment. With his leukemia in remission, he was back on the sidelines last Sunday coaching the Colts in their playoff game with the Baltimore Ravens—a game which unfortunately did not turn out well for the Colts.
In the letter Pagano expresses his gratitude for the outpouring of support he and his family received. You can read the letter here. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt letter.
What struck me was the last paragraph: “On behalf of the Pagano family, thank you for helping me heal and for showing our country that we do have the best fans in the entire world; fans whose love for their coaches and players extends way beyond the football field.”
While I appreciate Pagano’s effort to thank the fans for their support, what struck me was the outpouring of love and care so many people had for a person they had never met. Across our country, in ways large and small, we do that; we step up to the plate to help out, whether it’s:
- People donating to a fund for disaster relief after hurricane Sandy.
- Volunteers packing boxes for our troops in Afghanistan.
- The neighbor plowing my daughter’s driveway when he saw her out there shoveling away.
- Fans and well-wishers offering their best wishes and letting Pagano know so many people were pulling for him.
Amidst the negativity that we see constantly on the news, it’s nice to remember all the good things, the kind things, the generous things we witness every day all around us. As the new year starts, look for your opportunities to be someone who steps up to the plate. You’ll make a difference.
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About the author
Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."