I can remember the evening as clearly as if it was yesterday. We were sitting in the bleachers watching a grade-school girl’s softball game. A friend’s daughter was the catcher for one team and the game was close. The spirit of the players and spectators was fantastic! Everyone clapped and cheered when there was a good play while they danced on the wire of competitive tension. Dave turned to me and said something that has stuck with me everyday since; “this is as good as it gets”.
In this life he is right, that moment in time ranks among the all-time bests! I have turned back to that moment for encouragement, hope, a sense of wonder, and simple reflection for more than a decade as of this writing. One of the things that I took away from the experience was a sense of the parents immediately involved. Their lives have and continued to be filled with many awesome moments. Why them and not others that I know? Do they have a special key? Can we replicate it?
Wisdom notes one piece of the puzzle that unlocks part of your life and mine. “A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.” (Proverbs 28.14)
Think of other scenes where kids are playing competitive sports. Parents end up in fights with other parents. Parents end up physically assaulting the opposing coach or referees. Children end up in a full blown brawl as the game ends. And this is only the beginning! Fast forward to the hooligans of the adult world; watch the hard life play itself out in day to day living. People are hurt, players can end up in the hospital due to attacks from spectators, and referees require armed escorts and guards.
In stark contrast are interactions shaped by compassion. In every scene compassion gives birth to blessings. Life may be hard, difficult, and challenges, yet compassion brings its friends – peace, belonging, and hope. We can all have this experience; it simply starts with our choice in responding to another’s actions.