Surprise. Sometimes my low standards lead to a higher place. – SCN Encourager

This roundabout is a fantastic way to start the day.


It’s doesn’t happen all that often.

But once in a while, the convoluted path I take in writing a daily Encourager for you and other school communicators actually leads to somewhere worthwhile.

Want proof of this miracle?

(Yeah, I figured you would.)

My roundabout began here – with the insight from Max DePree you’ll see in the leafy and fall-like visual below.

DePree is the retired CEO of Herman Miller, the international design and office furniture manufacturer headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan.

He’s 92 years-old… a fellow west-Michigander and Hope College grad… has written an amazing book about leadership and service.

If you’re able to imagine a Bell Curve comprised of “wise thinkers and leaders,” I’m proud to be on it with him – although his little dot stands alone far to the right, and mine stands alone way off to the left.

Anyway, I’ve always admired how DePree included each one of us in his observation about diversity.







DePree’s words reminded me of this truism by Dr. John Swinton, which clarifies the distinction between including and belonging.









I like this quote, too – a lot.

But as I created the graphic I thought I’d better find out who Swinton is before I just plopped it before you.

What if he was just some guy thinking up quotes while serving time in prison for bank robbery?

Or worse yet – hated my beloved Detroit sports teams?

Well, I’m happy to report that my background check on Dr. Swinton came out clean.

So feel free let him inside of any of your schools.

Now I doubt if he’ll show up at your office door anytime soon, though.

My investigation (AKA my roundabout) revealed that Swinton’s a pastor in Aberdeen, a port city located on Scotland’s northeast coast.

Like DePree, he has much to share.

In this 8 minute YouTube video, Swinton describes how he formed a fresh view of the world early in his career (as a nurse) by serving people with intellectual disabilities, and then feeling called to move into serving people with dementia.

After I watched it, I could hardly believe my roundabout arrived at this man’s digital doorstep.

Swinton has written several books for building your understanding about friends and loved ones who battling dementia, mental health, and end-of-life issues.

Sure, I found it a little unsettling when Cindy added Dr. Swinton to her speed-dial.

But then I took this as a good sign.

I’m interpreting this to mean she’s going to hang in there with me for the long term.

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