I was thinking of our son's disappointment in the baseball tournament. He coached
the team and they lost. He poured himself into them and it just did not come
together. Another place, another time, I told him. It will happen I should have said.
His disappointment was keen and I could not take it seriously I said. They had
always told me that I did not see how crucial games were. What I realized is
that one cannot orchestrate the outcome of anything. One can pour oneself into
something, instil one's best and highest motives and desires but one cannot
orchestrate the outcome. And perhaps the outcome truly is not that important.
But the process is.
What we teach to whomever we are in charge of we can determine by examining
our motives and intentions. We w ill teach along the way those things which fit
into the process of maturation of an Other. We will teach those things we are
proud of and those things we will heatedly say we never intended. So it is
imperative that our lessons not give crossed signals. We need to know why we
needed to win and why to lose was so undesirable. We need to know what we
intended to prove. Perhaps what we also need to know is what we taught along
the way and how it helped for good, constructively, to enhance a life.
Did someone learn that discipline was crucial to keeping a job, a marriage
intact, a family? Did someone learn that motive, desire was crucial to spark
the continuation of a life or many lives? Did someone learn that practice can
be a method of discipline, that practice ensures that one can be at home
with anything not attempted before and that learning never stops? Did we
teach that joy could be found in doing with one's body, mind and soul a
task that once seemed undesirable by changing one's attitude and saying,
`this I can do because it needs doing and because I see it as mine to do?'
Do I see my participation in this part of life as privilege and not as duty?
Did someone learn that to do one's best is what is required of life and in
doing so no regrets will burden them? And was there a camaraderie,
a dedication to a joint effort and a love borne by all for each because
of the sharing of motive and intentions? Did they all come through
happy to have participated and adding a dimension of success because
the individual's success depends on the cooperation of the all?
If the ball tournament brought these things home to some, then there
was no loss and the coach stands as leader. A win does not necessarily
mean a successful team. What one learns is what determines a winner
in the process. The process is never finished.
For if it were finished, we also would be and the final page would be writ.
Who among us would say we've learned it all and played the last game while
breath is still ours?
(This was from a journal I had kept many years ago with a copy to our
son. It is valid today and he agrees.)