Try Something New: Scarf Optional


My 82-year-old mother was browsing at a thrift store and found a large brightly colored scarf. Intrigued by her find, she walked to the front counter and asked, “Excuse me, could you tell me what to do with this?”

The woman at the desk said, “Oh! What a lovely scarf! There are so many things you can do with a scarf!”

My mom said, “Like what? What can you do?”

The woman hesitated and said, “Well…” and then wrapped the scarf around her neck. Of course, my mom already knew how to do that. They looked at each other, the woman hesitated again, and then she said, “Let me ask my friend…” and called over another woman.

The second woman working at the store came over and said, “Oh! A scarf! You can do so many things with scarves!”

My mom said, “Like what? I’m wondering what you would do?”

The second woman wrapped the scarf around her neck just like the first. They all stood there and were stumped. Then, the second woman said, “You know, I have a book at home with lots of ideas.”

My mom laughed: “Georgi, there are so many things you can do with scarves, yet no one knows what to do!”

Oh, scarves. We keep wrapping them around our necks or letting them hang out in our closets. They could be so much more.

What about you and me? There are so many things we can do with our lives, yet many of us just do what everyone else does. We go along with the crowd. We play it safe. We dream small. We wrap a scarf around our neck, or we don’t even wear scarves, they might make us stand out and we don’t want attention.

But what could you do differently? What is uniquely you? How could you break a pattern in your life and have fun doing it? What would you create if you couldn’t just wrap that scarf around your neck and be done? What if you were challenged to live your life in a new and exciting way? What would that look like?

My mom bought the scarf. She’s going to have fun with it. I’m going to have fun breaking some of my patterns. I want my students to tell me their stories – how can I do that? How could that be fun? I can’t wait to figure it out.

Wow. There are so many things you can do with a scarf! What will you do?

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