Sunday, August 14, 2011

Character Check

“It’s my ball punk” were the words of a little boy mad because he could not have his way and because he was loosing and looked upon as inferior as others picked him last for teams, no one would pass him the ball, and he had two left feet. So his only resort was to take back what belonged to him, his ball, so no one could win if he could not win. His pride and ego were damaged as he walked home not looking back at the kids that teased him until he was no longer in earshot or eye view of the crowd of boys in the park.

We’ve all had instances in our lives where we wanted to say give me back my stuff because you are making me look bad with “my own stuff”. No one likes to be in the company of a sore looser or a gloater who goes over and beyond to let everybody know how good he is at his craft. Early on in my life, it was not an option for me and my brother to 1.) Participate in sports 2.) Go to church and 3.) Treat others the way we wanted to be treated. We had to play team sports to teach us how to be a team player and work with others. We learned we are not an island unto ourselves and in life you will not be able to do all things alone; but you will need the help of others and in turn others will help you. There were many times I would play a basketball, softball, or volleyball game and at the end of each game we (as a team) would walk in a line and hit the hand of the opposing team and say “good game” regardless of how we felt (because we lost) or even if opposing team would not touch our hands or come out to walk the line (because they lost). Now, there were times when the opposing team did not want to touch us or even say good game because they lost; our coach would not let us gloat and he would remind us of past losses and we still have the rest of the season. It felt good to win but it felt doubly awful to loose a game. This was the lesson in life being taught at an early age, that you may not win them all but how you react after loosing told a lot about your character. Even though you loose, because you will definitely not win them all, will you be like the little boy in the park and say give me my stuff/ball and I’m going home or do you show up the next day for practice ready to become a better person, a better team member, and a better overall individual. A lot of people don’t understand that loosing is apart of life, you will never win them all; but you will have the opportunity to come back to try again. The key is picking yourself up and dusting yourself off and getting up with the mind set that this is not the end, I can do better, get better, and be a better person.

This analogy that I am using about team sports is one most parents should use to raise their children along with planting a seed of God’s love within their children so long after a child has left the safety net of Mama and Daddy, not only is this team concept embedded in them but God’s seed of wisdom and love is there for that child, now grown up to reflect upon to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, maybe even dry your face from crying, and try again; with a right attitude. Remember in this thing called life as you reflect on the team concept and God’s love- people remember you by what you do and not so much what you say. Our children today are missing out on so much from days of old when it was not an option to go outside on Saturdays to play with others which is where one begins to learn the concept of being a good sport, treating others the way you would like to be treated, and have God’s seed planted in our children early in life.

Today’s days and times are so different. Many would rather give up instead of getting better, practicing, believing tomorrow will be a better day, all days will not be like today, and how you treat others is a reflection of your character. So, let’s regress a little and begin to do all the things our parents did to and for us to make us the people we are today. Thank you to my Daddy (Peter Hall, Sr.) for being my coach, my biggest fan, inspiring me in your own quirky way, and exposing me to God’s love and wisdom. Selah.
By Tina Kay Hughes