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Why We Need Cheerleaders

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Why We Need Cheerleaders

“The world needs cheerleaders,” Rev. Monsignor Thomas J. Mullelly said during the homily at my son’s Confirmation.

“The world,” he added, “Needs scholars and athletes as well.”

But “cheerleader” really struck me.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I was the furthest thing from pompoms, hurkies and pyramids growing up, so this wasn’t a case of nostalgia.

It struck me because it simply seemed silly.

Until all at once, it didn’t.

I took a look at the people sitting in the pews around me – my kids, my parents, my sister and her family, even my ex-husband and in-laws.

I looked deeper into my soul — my best friend, boyfriend, dear friends and all the people who have warmly embraced me and my kids as their own.

My professional network, colleagues old and new.

The little village of people I have come to know and love at my favorite coffee place downstairs from my office. Even my fellow football and cheer Moms.

Every step of the way, my squad aligns.

They loudly cheer as I venture down new paths in life, “You can do it if you try! V.I.C.T.O.R.Y.”

And for those times when I’m feeling a bit deflated and need the pick-me-up, “Hey, Beth, you’re doing fine, but you are a little behind. So get together, get on the run and show them that you’re number one!”

Several years back, I was a big fan of the show “Heroes,” whose tagline was “Save the cheerleader, save the world.”

It seemed like such a ridiculous plot for a television series when I watched it back then.

But maybe the message was simply lost on me at the time.

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