I vaguely remember my little league days; VTN was my team. I played third base, and for those of you not familiar with baseball, third base receives an insanely high percentage fast-moving balls. That was probably the beginning of my thrill for hand-eye sports. Give me a projectile to hit and I’m a happy man.
Every day I drive past a little baseball field near where I live. It’s a hub of activity and is a gathering place for all the local teams to play and practice. I won’t say baseball is in my blood, however I do admit my occasional inhabitance of Dodger stadium for yelling and hot dogs.
Yet tonight I find myself unusually curious to revisit my infield days, and that in itself pushes me to visit the above-mentioned field.
As I arrive, the diamond is mostly cleared with only a few parents left, speaking with the team coaches. I politely walk into their the circle of conversation, and all are gracious is tolerating my interruption. I must say, “A very friendly community bunch.”
Nearest to me is coach Tim. He is inquisitive of my project and speaking to him becomes a wonderful flashback to my little league days.
Tim is a to the point guy and very thoughtful in his words. And with the grace expected from an inspired team builder, he give us this, “Always look at how you can improve yourself first, before you blame others.”
Look at yourself first, great council. How many time have we found ourselves reacting to a situation or a person, before considering the fullness of the situation, or as others have shared with us, “Put ourselves in the others shoes?”
Tim elaborates, “As a coach my biggest pet peeve is when my boys get down on their teammates. Blaming an individual instead of looking at everyone as a team.”
In speaking of teamwork, “If everybody employed the same idea, then they would inspire and not be a negative influence. It does not matter, where, when, or to whom, the concept is universal. It applies to business, personal relations and how we treat those around us.”
A true coach, Tim relates this premise to the society, “The world is like a schoolyard, there are bullies and weaklings, the best players help the weaker players become stronger. They have a choice to either inspire, or to get down on each other for no reason.”
I love the wisdoms all are expressing through 365. Thus far, it has been quite a journey in having the opportunity to hear so many diverse perspectives, as well as see common grounds. Over one-third of the way there now, still holding my breath for what happens tomorrow, but one thing is becoming amazingly empowering, the expanded knowledge given to us via the many one liner councils we are all hearing.
My time with Tim is extremely short; we have to cut it that way, for he has business to attend to before his assistant coach splits. Yet what he does give us in fifteen minutes is powerful enough to inspire more than his youth baseball team.
Let’s personalize his councils, I’ll save you from my lengthy analysis, and just ask you to take a moment and check how Coach Tim’s advise can fit into your lives. And for the purpose of self-reflection, I’m slightly revising his quotes to make them a little more personal.
“Do I have the ability to look at how I can improve myself first, before I blame others?”
“Do I jump on the bandwagon in getting down on someone else, before I have all the details? And if I do, do I work to resolve or to blame?”
“The world is filled with individuality, there are people I am close to, and people who I wish not to associate with, but, in all instances, are my thoughts forward thinking or destructive, and do I choice to think optimistically or get down on the world around me, without first doing my fact-finding?”
“We have a power to either inspire, or get down on each other for no reason. What is my choice?”
Basically in the words of Tim, “The best players help the weaker players become stronger.”
“Are we the best players?”
Per the future, in perfect Coaching style, short and to the point, Tim states, “I’d like to see the world lean towards global freedom.”
“Can you please expand?” I ask.
He pauses to gather his thoughts, and again, in a well-structured and short form he says, “A world where we are able to express individualization and have the freedoms to believe what we want without being judged or persecuted.”
Throughout 365, I’ve been sharing many optimistic perspectives and comments, a position that I support and fully own to my core. But being fair to all, and in the spirit of unity and understanding, I have to acknowledge the darker perspectives of many I have interviewed, and more often, been rejected by.
I do not ignore the darker side of the world. We see it in the media and in our personal regions every day. I make no claim towards nirvana or a fairy tale planet. I’m not even touting that 365 is the answer to all the problems of the world. It is far from that, and even if it was, I’m just one very underfunded guy, doing the best he can to throw a sounding block of encouragement.
But one thing I do know, the world is filled with powerfully inspired and accepting people; people who, as does Tim, do what they can in their circle of influence to make a difference.
The strength of one is magnificent. And knowing this gives us all purpose in our own worlds, doesn’t it?
May we all continue to do our part in passing it on, for in the midst of darkness, there is always room for a light to shine brighter.
Be that light.
Coach Tim, Thanks for the pep talk!