As a child I loved stickers ("love" might be an understatement). I put them on everything from letters to lunch bags to clothing to my friends' hands. I saved them when I received them. I gave them away lavishly when I bought them. I collected them and filled several sticker books. Any school paper that received a sticker was meticulously archived. When we went to the store, I went straight to the sticker section to see if there were any new designs.
I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about stickers, and I couldn't turn my brain off. What was it I loved about stickers? And why is it such a pressing matter (no pun intended!) now? At first I thought it was an issue of approval, i.e. stickers as a reward for performing well. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it was a matter of acknowledgement.
In receiving a sticker, someone was acknowledging that I had worked hard, or that I merely existed. In giving a sticker, I was acknowledging someone's presence, worth, and sharing from my treasured collection with them in an effort to show them how special they were.
And so I would like to do something very unconventional: I would like to give each of you a virtual sticker to acknowledge you - your presence, your worth, your preciousness. Thank you for being you; I honour that.