Thursday, December 30, 2010
Warrior Painted Face
My great nephew loves hockey. He is quite a good goalie at a very early age. Like many his age he has a favorite team and favorite players etc and aspires to be a part of it all. Some of the stories that come out of this interest of his are astounding. I must say that it is much different being on a team as a kid than it is being a single mom of a kid on a team. Old standards will happen and rear their ugly heads now and then. Discrimination will happen and the next thing you know there are hockey parents who exclude his mom and him from invitations because they are too threatened by what they see as well as by a mom who actually shares healthy opinions about activities that go on around this sport. It really puts a damper on the enjoyment factor when there are such shenanigans going on in the background.
But what we need to not lose sight of is the love of the game. It doesn't have to be WWWF on Ice. In fact it should never be that. The game serves to build self-worth and self-confidence in young players. This cannot happen if parents are screaming insults at children from the stands. Sometimes they even scream them at their own children because they see their kid as a failure, not that they themselves could have done any better at that age!
There is a primal need that team sports serves as well. That primal need goes back thousands of years. Eventually it developed into things like armies that conquered foreign lands. At least that is not the focus with team sports. It serves the primal need to conquer while not actually shedding a drop of blood....hopefully. Some may argue that I am nuts in this perspective, but those who do are idiots. Of course it serves the primal need to conquer. If it did not, then competitive sports would never have developed in the first place. Look, for example, at how involved even non-sports minded folks get in the Olympics. This is an event that is actually based on the same primal need. The more gold medals that are earned by a country, the higher regard that country is held in the eyes of the rest of the world. It is like going to international war without the rifles and tanks and other anti-personnel weaponry involved. It is cultured. It is refined. And it is primal. To compete one must be able to put out 110% or more just to make the cut. One becomes a warrior who represents their respective homeland.
A lot of people do a lot of praying around such events as the Olympics. They want their own country to win more Gold than any other country. The only praying that I have ever done around the Olympics is that everyone remains safe, unharmed....healthy, and enjoys the competition to the max because that opportunity does not come around very often and certainly not for just anyone. Accidents happen and people get hurt during practices and competitions. This is unfortunate, but true. So that is what I focus my prayers on. I really don't care squat about who wins what. But not caring does not stop the warm and tingly feeling inside when my own country does well. It is a rush. Really, deep inside, we are all warriors with painted faces. Let's just accept that as truth and then allow it to become expressed in constructive ways.