This weekend was full of supporting my varied number of children as my husband promotes team sports. I am a fan but I am not a fan of the running around, the number of practices, the amount of money spent on gear…and the cold and wet of the spring season in which they begin to play. But I go and do and support…because they love it and I should and I end up enjoying commiserating with other parents!
I am a big fan of watching these young ones learn how to work as a team, rules and boundaries, create memories and build on a skill they may never know they had until this moment in time.
Recently we had an injury on the field. It was another young one but I watched as the entire field of our future doctors, lawyers, plumbers, electricians, teachers and servicewomen (girl’s team only) – immediately stopped and took a knee. The two closest players…note players not teammates…players – ran forward to help the young woman up…and they realized they could not help her just as the adults made it to her side. She was later removed from the game for a little while as she was checked out…and ended up fine…but I watched this field of future everythings...take a knee and wait.
So much in this society has focused on showing a generation coming up that does not know how to empathize in person, that would prefer to be inside than outside and within a virtual world than a real one. So much in literature details a generation that wants things now and has no sense of patience or waiting…but each weekend I repeatedly see the opposite.
I see fields of young people of both sexes who know how to pause and wait their turn…how to take a knee.
I see adults cheering for their kid and if the opposite team makes a good play – they (sometimes begrudgingly) lean over and say “that was a good one.”
It is rare to see someone get too upset…although it happens. Sports should bring out a passion in you and a desire for winning that can be hard to turn off. Sometimes that passion spills over and an overly vocal parent gets “the look” from other parents.
Kids who exhibit their passion in the wrong way also get “the look” from other kids…and they slowly do not get the ball as much…and the kid gets mad…and then realize they have to play with their team vs as a team of one to get the ball and the behavior changes. In Lax, you can not score without a pass…therefore you must have a partner…so solo stars are not common…interesting how peer pressure can work to adjust behavior.
All of these young people were all able to take a knee for their team mate…for their opposing teammate…for a human…and quietly wait.
They clapped and yelled well wishes for her when she left the field.
They all were even gracious when she came back ( I saw multiple ladies lean over and ask if she was okay)…and then they got back to the game at hand.
Watching them take this knee reminded me that we should not build a legacy for them…we must help these young ones build their own.
We can not assign to them a stereotype of what we see on the surface..or of the few…on the many.
As adults and leaders…we must constantly remind ourselves that this next generation is watching and learning and perhaps…doing a lot better at this stage of life than we did ourselves.
Give them a chance to take a knee and rise ready.