"There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win." - Elie Wiesel
In today’s society bad behavior is headline news; nevertheless, we should never underestimate the impact one simple act of kindness can do to change the world. Day after day there are countless news stories of those individuals who have taken the wrong path in life. But hope is not lost after you read the incredible and touching story between two high school softball teams and the bond they developed in the name of sportsmanship and humanity.
To give you a little background, earlier this spring the Roncalli High School's Girls' Softball Team from Indianapolis, Indiana, a team who had not lost a single game in the last 2 1/2 years, was scheduled to compete against Marshall Community school. From all outside appearances it was just another game between two teams. However, the two teams could not have been any more diverse when it came to skills on the field.
The Roncalli team realized prior to the first pitch that their opponents were not prepared to play. They could tell by the comments and actions of the players and coaches that the Marshall Community team did not understand the fundamentals of the game. So, the Roncalli team decided to forfeit the game to avoid humiliating the Marshall team, even if that meant breaking their winning streak. In the spirit of true sportsmanship, Marshall did not want to quit, but they finally relented only when the Roncalli team offered to use the time to teach them how to play the game. The two teams spent the next two hours practicing everything from pitching, to batting, to how to run the bases, even how to put on the catching gear.
The act of sportsmanship did not stop there. Roncalli JV coach Jeff Traylor then asked the parents of his players to donate used equipment and money to help aid the Marshall Community team. The request was met with an unbelievable amount of donations. This one small act of kindness not only changed the lives of all these young ladies, but it inspired Reebok and the Cincinnati Reds to get on board to help as well. This story reminded me of another heart rendering story from 2008 when a college softball player hit her first home run of her college career and ended up injuring her knee running the bases. Unable to run the distance required to score for her team, hope seemed lost. After she was told that if her teammates tried to help her around the bases she would be called out, the situation grew dim.
In one of the most touching acts, the Central Washington University players asked the umpire if they could help their opponent around the bases. Because no such ruling existed, they were given the go ahead; so the players carried Sara Tucholsky around each of the bases allowing her team, Western Oregon University, to score. The Central Washington University softball team went on to lose the game and thus losing the conference knocking them out of the playoffs. But what a beautiful legacy these young women left behind. Even two years later, I am so touched by their unselfish act of kindness. It shows there is good in all of us if we just put our ego aside
We all have the opportunity to do what is right, not because we are going to have our names splashed across the newspaper or on television, but because we care about our fellow man regardless of their ethnicity, social status or educational background. We truly can change the world by one simple act of kindness at a time even if that means we do not win.
How do reading stories like these make you feel? Do you feel the media puts too much emphasis on reporting the negative behavior? Would you be willing to forgo winning if it allowed someone else to live his/her dream?
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