Quality Schools International has a "Success Orientation" philosophy. These are basic monthly character traits that students are expected to exhibit. These traits include responsibility, group interaction, kindness and politeness, trustworthiness, aesthetic appreciation and concern for others (there is another but I can't remember them all off the top of my head). Students who show these traits are awarded paper links which each teacher attaches into a chain around his or her classroom. Visualize a Christmas countdown chain... My friends and I go around rewarding each other imaginary links whenever we see each other demonstrating a success orientation. This all started one day on a hike when I awarded figurative links to our friend, Gjergj, who was showing major kindness and politeness and concern for others. Now, it's just a part of what we do to amuse ourselves and others!
Now for the real reason of this post: Today is my mother's birthday! I was walking around Tirana thinking about what I appreciate most about Mom. The thing that immediately came to mind was "concern for others." This, perhaps, is my mom's defining success orientation. She has a heart that is ready to serve. How lucky am I to be raised by such a woman! I think her service stems from who she is as a follower of Christ. She knows who she is and who God has created her to be and by serving others, she serves her Maker. Thanks, Mom, for modeling this for me. You deserve a VERY happy birthday, not to mention, a million red paper links!