Living by the 80/20 Rule

Last week I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with hundreds of high school students/athletes/and their families. It was interesting…especially for a people watcher like myself.

My daughter and I worked for several hours at a local high school concession stand while a track invitational was running.

And were we ever busy

Handing out food (written in the loosest sense of the definition), drink (come again), making change, directing people to the restrooms, and just generally conversing with one and all.

What I noticed most was how courteous all the young people were…and it was obvious that a variety of socio-economic population segments were represented here. Just about every boy or girl who came through to buy something made sure to ask courteously, wait patiently, and then thank us when we handed them back their change.

It gave me pause…because we hear so much about kids being raised on the entitlement doctrine that’s spreading across our nation like never before.

But this eclectic group of kids gave me hope.

Somebody(ies) taught them to be mannerly…wait for their turn…and express gratitude for what they’re given.

As a mom, it made my heart swell with pride and joy (just as if they were my very own kids.)

These young people were taking what they learned in their homes and then taking this lesson of civility into their world.

What did cause me some alarm was the food choices they were making…not so good.

I felt an inner pang of guilt with every Peanut M&M’s, Blue Gatorade, and Sour Patch Kids, I handed over. I felt slightly less guilty about selling pizza (but that’s my own personal dietary downfall and a topic for another post.)

But honestly, these kids are smart, they’re athletes…and they’re eating mindlessly (and can I say irresponsibly…)

We teased some of them saying, “Enjoy that fast food dinner…” and they laughed as they ripped open the packages and devoured them…before their events…

I know it’s impossible to eat healthy all of the time…but if we’d adopt the 80/20 rule (at home and out and about)…we’d all be a lot healthier.

Next time, I want to request some healthy alternatives to sell…like fruit, veggies, cheese…something…anything…that will help these kids compete better on the track (and in life.)

So my conclusion to my people watching observation experiment is this

Moms and dads are doing a great job overall of imparting the value of courtesy.

But we have a way to go in imparting the value of eating in a way that builds strong minds and bodies.

The 80/20 Rule — it’s something we can all live (and grow) by.