David Trinko: The value of working together


My children’s earliest memories likely include a silly ritual that shows we’re all in this together.

We’ll put one hand each into a pile, like a sports team showing its unity. Then, we’ll all say together,”Team Trinko!” with our two-syllable last name dragging out for a bit.

If one of the girls doesn’t put her hand in or isn’t fully engaged, our cheer turns into a whimper from the parents. If it takes one of us, it takes all of us.

We talked a little bit about this for a moment on Wednesday afternoon, as we walked about from the rabbit show at the Putnam County Fair. My 14-year-old daughter had just won grand champion with her mini lop, and she was proud of herself and her bunny.

Her 9-year-old and 15-year-old sisters were a little less enthused about her success. There were a lot of half-joking reminders that the rabbit won the banner, not the girl. Our victor reminded everyone that they said her name over the speaker, not her rabbit’s name.

That’s when I stepped in to remind them about all the work they’d done together to help all of them succeed. To me, the work is the reward, and the award is merely an acknowledgment nodding toward that work.

There was so much time spent feeding them and making sure they had water.

There was so much effort cleaning up after their bodily functions.

There was so much training that went into making the rabbits and the girls feel comfortable with one another.

None of that was ever done by one particular person. It was a team effort. Each helped out with her sister’s rabbit. Each one pitched in on the cleaning, the training and just the general love and compassion it takes to raise an animal.

That’s why I particularly savored their head-to-head competition in the mini lop category, where they took first, second and fourth places. All three were recognized for their hard work. All three were winners, and all three deserved it.

Of course I’m proud of our grand champion rabbit and the girl who took it to the fair. Once they’re back home, I’m not sure I could tell you which one belonged to which girl, though, as they all love and care for them.

It’s the definition of being a team. I’ve always appreciated the acronym “Together Everyone Achieves More.” I enjoy the phrase, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets credit.”

These same dynamics play out at every county fair, in every competition, in every game. They play out in boardrooms and factory floors alike. They play out in our families and our churches.

Much like our “Team Trinko” cheer, if we’re not all working together, our efforts turn into a weak whimper.

David Trinko is editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

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