All great teams have a mascot. A mascot inspires. A mascot invigorates. Occasionally, a mascot just kind of lies there.
Meet Mazzie Star, mascot of the SMU Rwanda Peace Mission 2014.
When we see photographs of glamorous celebrities, we often wonder what life in the spotlight is like. Well, you won’t learn much about that from Mazzie Star. Sure, she’s the glue of our team and some say that we owe what we are today to her. But Mazzie just moonlights as a mascot.
In real life, she has important duties. During the day, she covers not just one, but two windows in her best friend’s house. From those vantage points, she has a clear view of two streets and a working knowledge of every neighbor and every other dog living within a half mile. But just because she knows them, she doesn’t let them off with the silent treatment. Mazzie Star barks.
You see, that’s her main job — warning Robyn of anything moving outside the house. Or, when the team is there, anything moving inside the house. And nothing can be said or done to dissuade her from her sworn task. Nothing. Except maybe a snack. Or a belly rub. But sometimes not even then.
Mascots are believed to bring good luck. And certainly Mazzie Star outshines any rabbit’s foot or four leaf clover. But dear Mazzie captures an even deeper meaning for us.
Finding common ground is a unique experience in teams with deep ties. When tension is a little high, a little time with Mazzie brings a measure of calm. When she’s not barking, she is the epitome of the non-anxious presence.
As a team, our tasks aren’t much different from Mazzie Star’s. Be vigilant. Speak up. Reassure. And, if appropriate, eat snacks.
Mazzie won’t be making the trip. Yet she’ll be in our thoughts. As we travel, we will follow her lead. We will be vigilant for each other. We will speak up when a strong voice is needed. We will reassure and comfort.
Undoubtedly, we’ll eat snacks. And we’ll stand together.