Great competitors are bred, and great sportsmen are born. I came to tha
t conclusion at a Little League T-ball game in Davis, California, for w
hich my son, Matt, was umpiring. This conclusion was cemented solidly j
ust last week when a friend of mine related a horror story from her son
's Little League game.
"One of the coaches just ripped off a kid's head for making a mistake,"
she noted. "What does that teach him?"
In both of our books, nothing.
We have become a nation addicted to winning. "We're number one" puts sm
iles on sports fans' faces. Running a good race doesn't always.
This premise relates to every facet of life, whether at home, at church
, at school, at work or at play. Numbers are crunched, awards are pursu
ed, emotions are stifled in favor of one-upmanship. Even the Joneses ha
ve a hard time keeping up.
Life too often becomes a tough game with more losers than winners. When
claiming the prize eliminates the good in playing, no one wins. Real r
ewards come from teamwork and playing the game unselfishly for the good
of the whole.
On a hot, sunny afternoon, a small boy stepped up to bat. The crowd wat
ched like hawks for his move, waiting for the sought-after home run tha
t most likely wasn't to be. After all, these kids were five and six yea
rs old, much too little to stroke a ball past the pitcher, if at all.
The little guy's determination showed in his stance: gritted teeth, sli
ghtly bulging eyes, hat-clad head bobbing slightly, feet apart, hands w
ith a death grip on the bat. In front of him was a small softball, sitt
ing perched like a parrot on a lone tee, awaiting the six swings that t
he batter was allowed.
< bleachers. the of out voice solitary a came it!? do can you on,>
"Go for it, Son!" the proud father yelled encouragingly.
"Go, go, go . . ." the crowd joined in.
"You can do it!" just the father and a couple of viewers crooned, other
s losing interest and turning to bleacher conversations.
"YOU CAN DO IT!" And suddenly bat hit ball, amazing the crowd and the l
ittle boy, who stood rock still, watching it travel slowly past the pit
cher on its way to second base.
The stands rumbled with stomping feet.
The little boy's head jerked ever so slightly and he took off toward th
< other ?The yelled. crowd>
With a slight cast of his head toward the bleachers, the boy turned bac
k toward home.
"NO!" My son, the umpire, waved him toward first base.
The kids on both teams pointed the way. The crowd continued to cheer hi
m on. Confused, he ran back to third. Then following the third baseman'
s frantic directions, he finally ran toward first base but stopped triu
mphantly on the pitcher's mound. The pitcher moved back, not sure what
to do next. The crowd stood, shaking the bleachers with the momentum. A
ll arms waved toward first base. And with no thought for his position,
the first baseman dropped his ball and ran toward the pitcher.
"Come on," he yelled, grabbing the hand of the errant batter, and tugge
d him toward first base while the crowd screamed its approval. The ball
lay forgotten as a triumphant twosome hugged each other on the piece o
f square plastic that marked the spot where lives are forever shaped.
Two little boys, running hand in hand, toward a goal that only one shou
ld have reached. Both came out winners. In fact, there wasn't a loser i
n the stands or on the field that summer day, and that's a lesson none
of us should ever forget. Winning is more than being number one. Winnin
g is helping another when the chips are down. It's remembering to love
one another, as biblically directed, despite the flaws that sometimes a
ppear in the fabric of daily life.
No one will ever remember the score of that summer afternoon encounter.
Competition, usually fettered by jeering remands, lost to sportsmanshi
p, an innate formula for winning.
When you get to first base with opposing teammates, families, friends a
nd grandstanders behind you, a home run is never that far down the road
Mary Owen关键字:好文共赏生词表:winning [´winiŋ] n.&a.胜利(的) 四级词汇premise [´premis] n.前提 v.引导 四级词汇parrot [´pærət] n.鹦鹉；应声虫 四级词汇triumphant [trai´ʌmfənt] a.胜利的；洋洋得意的 四级词汇