There are eight little four and five year olds running around the field. The coach has instructed them to pass the ball back and forth to each other as they make their way from one end of the field to the other. Each group is trying to figure out exactly how to accomplish that task.
One child who has played before, shows his partner and they quickly speed through the drill. They are done and waiting before the other three groups start. One child tries to take the ball all by himself, one child has moved to camp out in the goal and another is starting to wander off by the sidelines to get water. A couple of the players are waiting for their partners because they understood what to do, but their partner have checked out (remember there is one in the goal and one on the sidelines).
Whether it is their age, inexperience or the wind just entered through their ears and stirred up their brains to wonder about different things instead of completing the task at hand; they were all doing things differently. In the end all four groups ended up finishing the drill and standing on the opposite side of the field.
This got me to thinking about life, and how we are all doing the best we can. Most of us finding our way. Maybe we are apprehensive, curious, have our own agenda to complete before we get started on what is at hand, or are natural leaders and forge ahead – we are all just moving forward (or in loop de loops then forward or stopping and then starting again) in our own ways.
With everything going on in the world, wether it is the political election and its teeming climate of hatred or terrorist attacks on innocent civilians or genocide or drug and sex trafficking or just plain seething frustration that seeps out discontent on Social Media or even face to face, it struck me that while these children completed the drill not one of them was angry or seething with frustration. No one was upset that all the others had a different or wandering way of completing the task. There was definitely some guidance from parents and coaches, but it was loving guidance because of the innocence that was on the field.
Of course witnessing this event had a precursor so my observation was definitely tainted with the discussion from earlier that day.
My children and I had quite a talk about respect, kindness and acceptance after the attacks in Belgium. We started to talk about how terrorists come to be and how we can not succumb to a fearful way of thinking. We talked about how we CAN dislike someone, but that doesn’t mean we should ever be disrespectful.
The events that are transpiring in the world that I mentioned earlier are all disrespectful, selfish acts when you strip them down. All are fueled by hate and fear.
My whole life has been guided by fear. I stayed in a relationship because I was afraid to be alone. I didn’t go away to college because I was afraid. I didn’t go to a party in high school because I was afraid; instead I watched the girls through a window from my parked car, let my fear overcome me and drove home. I didn’t tell people I was a medium because I was afraid. And even at soccer practice last night I didn’t go sit by this really awesome mom I met because I was afraid. Afraid that she may not like me, afraid that I might be a bother, just plain afraid to say the wrong thing.
We cannot be led by fear.
How do we fight what is happening around us?
We cannot be led by fear. We have to be kind, open, respectful and selfless.
I know there is discontent. It is rampant.
There is a tense, heaviness to the air. I know you can feel it, too.
There a lot of you, that like me are good and kind and want to make this world the best it can be. We are working toward that. The media and the spotlight are shining on the negative.
HATRED makes a lot of noise. It is messy and loud and dark. Shadows can cover up the light from time to time.
But we have to remember that even though we may be led to the see more of the fear and more of the turmoil; the light is still shining bright and we can focus on being kind and respectful and keep it at bay. It doesn’t mean it won’t touch us or hurt us, but it does mean that it can’t own us. It can’t suck us into its gnarly, twisted grasp.
We are the innocents on the field of life. We need to be able to find our own loop de loop, start stop, or forge ahead way. We need to offer each other space or loving guidance. Not criticism for being different, lost, afraid, weak, lonely, or afraid. I think we need to remember we are all just making our way at our own pace with our own baggage and make way for each other. Move over and offer a seat, a shoulder to lean on, rebuild our community of humans as ONE of many different kinds.
It is a nice thought and I am still an idealist; I think it can be done. I have a friend that always says don’t just be sorry, be active. We need to be active in order to heal this world of ours. We need to teach our children compassion, grace, kindness, respect, and open-mindedness. Anything is possible, if all those little munchkins at soccer can make it to the other side of the field; so can we.