It’s That Time of Year
There’s something unique about this time of the year (in America). The summer days are becoming shorter, and the school bells will soon be heard (if not already) in the early morning hours. The heat of the mid-day sun feels a bit cooler at times. Youth sport seasons begin to transition from one to the next. Depending on which part of the country perhaps football two-a-day practices are looming; soccer speed drills for others, and various other athletic skills are being practiced.
But, there is one sport, regardless of geographic region, still has a few weeks left. Tournament wins could mean missing the first days of the new school year. Continued success might even require a trip across the country to the ‘big show’, and an opportunity to claim a spot in the record books.
Baseball – America’s past-time. It is the sport that has allowed our country to struggle through hardship and war, and a sport which has united our nation and created a playing field that accepts people of all creed and color. Only the top 1% of the top 1% will ever make it to the Major Leagues, but there isn’t an 11 or 12 year old boy that plays baseball that has never dreamed of making it there. There isn’t a 12 year old boy that hasn’t dreamed of hitting the game winning home run in the World Series.
The next couple of weeks are magical, in a way. Because all across the country, little league baseball teams are battling their hearts out to make a trip to Williamsport, PA, home of the Little League World Series. It’s the monumental achievement for a little league team, and perhaps the best memory these young boys will ever remember from their ball careers.
How Do We Fight for a Goal
I get excited, because each year I look forward to seeing where the teams travel from, and hearing the story on what they had to accomplish to arrive in Williamsport. And each year, I see the highlights, listen to the coach’s speeches, and fight back a tear when I see dreams broken by the teams that don’t win the championship. At 11 and 12 years old, these young boys continue to inspire the American hearts, and continue to teach us what it means to fight – not just in the game of baseball, but in the game of life.
- Play Life with Pride– People recognize it when you take pride in what you do. Whether it is writing novels, recording music, teaching math, or playing a sport, the people you are surrounded by can tell a difference in people who genuinely care about what they do. Taking pride in what you do allows you to appreciate the journey, learn from your mistakes, and grow to be a better person. People who take pride in what they do, do so in the best interest of everyone – putting others before themselves.
- Play Life as if you are on a Team – This doesn’t mean that you have to rely on people for all that you do. It means that you serve a role. Your role is to be the best you can be at whatever it is you are doing. When someone needs help, you give it to them. When you need help, you ask for it. Your responsibility is to be a teammate for society, contributing to the greater good of all people.
- Play Life with Emotion – Express your happiness and joy when celebrating small victories. Share your frustrations when learning a new task. Let people see the fire in your eyes when you are facing hardship. Voice your concerns in a non-threatening manner. Smile when you reach a new goal, and cry when you fall short of something you worked hard for. Show your emotions, because it shows that you care.
Life isn’t just something we have to do, it’s something that we get to do – something that we get to play. Just as these teams of young boys fight for the Little League World Series crown, we too should fight for the game of life.
Always… Take pride in what you do each and every day.
Always… Contribute to the good of mankind.
Always… Share your thoughts and emotions.
Never… Stop chasing dreams.
Never… Quit fighting in this game called life!