Its Deeper Than We Think…..
Integrity over Glory
Righteousness over Recognition
As I look back on my life, I recognize that the lessons I was taught from a young age focused on personal value, not their inventory. It was better to be honest than to be rich. Your word was your bond. Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country….
But as we look around almost anywhere today, over and over again we see “ME, ME, ME, ME!”
“I deserve this…”
“I have a right to do this…”
Even in a fine public service and educational arena like Toastmasters, we are told that our audience wants to know about WIIFM, “What’s in it for me?”
I see a battle of words on social media about naming a facility. Should it be named for one person, or should it carry the city name instead and offer another way of recognizing the individuals? One person asked if there weren’t other individuals past, present, or future who also deserve recognition.
Have we forgotten to ask, “What can I do for you?”
“How can I make your day better?”
“How can I bless you today?”
As I look over the CIF and NCAA softball brackets that came out today, I am reminded that while there are a limited number of teams that get to taste glory in their various playoffs, how many other teams also worked hard trying to compete. How many other players deserve recognition for their efforts and achievements?”
But I thought it was about the journey, not the destination.
Do we still try to teach our children true values or do we let them fall into the trap of STUFF? Perhaps we have already fallen into the trap of STUFF and are reflecting that on our children, despite what our words say.
So, while we are still demanding our participation trophies, (and even if we talk against those, if our child doesn’t get some trophy do we complain about something not being fair?”) while we still cry “ME, ME, ME… or “MY KID, MY KID, MY KID…” maybe we should take a lesson from one of the most storied, most successful franchises in all of sports, the New York Yankees.
Last night I watched the ceremonies honoring Derek Jeter, another of many great Yankee players. His number was retired. He received a plaque honoring him in monument valley among other great players like Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio. Yet despite all the glory, notice that they didn’t rename the stadium, Jeter Stadium.
It is still Yankee Stadium. Jeter is a part of the Yankee family, the Yankee team. The plaque in monument valley is one of many other TEAM players. The retired number on the wall is one of many other TEAM players. To this day, the Yankees continue their long-time tradition that no player has their name on the back of their uniforms. This is to remind them that they are part of a team, they are Yankees. The team is great because they are a team.
Derek Jeter is honored not because he has had the most hits, home runs, stolen bases, or any other single statistic over other players, because he doesn’t. He wasn’t the best in any one category. What Derek Jeter was truly honored for, what made Derek Jeter the star that he is, was not pointing the finger at himself for all these years. It was putting his arms around his teammates. It was the way he played the game, always giving 100%, always putting his team first. He received the highest honor, being labeled “The Captain” not because how well he played but because of how well he led his teammates. In over 100 years, there have only been 15 players who have been given the honor of being called Captain of the Yankees. The position is vacant now since Jeter retired. Unlike our youth and high school teams, the coach doesn’t just appoint a captain every year. The players don’t get to vote a captain every year.
What lessons are you teaching your son or daughter? Did you teach them to earn their way to the top? Did you teach them to be a teammate, or did you demand that the world give them glory? Sometimes our actions are not always so apparent, so “in your face.” Sometimes we try to do the right thing verbally, vocally, and out front, but our body language, our motivations, the things other people see, even when we don’t, speak a different message.
I read an article the other day, and in it, someone who knew the Jeter family said that all you had to do was look at Derek Jeter’s parents, and you knew why he is the way he is. Why he shows class on and off the field. Were his parents able to buy him more private lessons than anyone else? Were they able to put him on the elite teams all the time? I don’t know. But what I do know is what Derek Jeter has said about his journey…
Since he was a kid, there was only one thing he wanted to do – play shortstop for the New York Yankees. While he obviously enjoys many riches and glory for the destination he reached, I’d be willing to wager that the little boy that wanted to play shortstop for the Yankees didn’t think about how much money he would make some day. He just wanted to play for the Yankees.
Do you know what your child’s dream is? Instead of trying to make sure they succeed, why not show them the path that they might take to reach their dream…..
Then sit back and let them succeed.