The Joy of Participation

Marcy Hawkins
What does participation mean to you?

What does participation mean to you? You can participate: 

  • In the church choir 
  • In a group project for work or school 
  • On an athletic team 
  • As a spectator at a game, class, or professional conference 

The opportunities are endless! So, how do you participate and is it impacting those around you for good? For me, participation means being part of something bigger than myself.  

When I was six years old, I joined a jump rope team. Yes, you read that correctly — a jump rope team! For those living in the Huntington area, you might remember the Hopping Hoosiers performing at basketball half-time shows, festivals, and parades. We also competed at a local, regional, and national level. I was a part of that team all through high school. It was a way for me to participate in something fun and to feel like I was part of something bigger. It took the entire team to put on a great show, and I learned a great deal about myself during that time.  

Being a member of the Hopping Hoosiers provided me with opportunities to travel, compete, and make friends from all over the world. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all fun and games. It was also hard work. As a team, we journeyed through great joy, sadness, injuries, and frustration. I learned what it was like to be a part of a team, and we all learned how to win and lose together. I remain friends with many of my teammates to this day, and that experience instilled in me both confidence and a sense of pride.  

I believe those formative years helped shape me into the person I am today. Whether it’s through my work at Huntington University, helping to plant a church, or being the best wife and mom I can be, I am driven to participate. I don’t participate to be noticed, but I hope my participation might encourage others to partner with like-minded people to impact their community in a positive way.    

While living in a busy, task-filled world, it can be overwhelming to think of participating in one more thing. However, today might be the day to let something go in order to be part of something even greater. Whatever that might be for you, may your participation bring you joy and may others be blessed by your service.     

Written by
Marcy Hawkins