A couple of weeks ago at one of my son’s basketball games I came up with a plan for world peace. Well, I’m going to test it at the little league sports level first, but I totally think its going to work.
We have a player on our team who is kind of tall for a 5th grader (my son, by the way, is a 3rd grader but the team needed to recruit in the lower grades to have enough players) and he can get rather emotional and, ahem, rough when he’s playing. One might even say grouchy. In fact, during this particular game the ref stopped the whole thing to walk across the gym, point him out, and let him know that “we don’t play basketball like that” when an under the basket tussle turned ugly.
The thing is, this little/big guy has, as my grandmother would sweetly proclaim, “had a difficult childhood.” And she would be right. An absent father and an addicted mother were two counts against him; I’m sure there were others. Most of that is in the process of complete reversal, but still the scars remain.
I imagined that parents of the other team might be tempted to comment negatively on our player, much like the parents on my side had pointed out a few hot heads on their team. Now, something you should know about me is my utter and complete discomfort in these situations. To be honest, I don’t even like it when my own husband critiques someone in the privacy of our own home. When that person is not there. And Dan has no plans to do anything about it. Its like I’m afraid that conversation is somehow going to escape the walls of our home, find its way into the ears of the victim, and permanently damage his or her psyche. I’m so weird.
I took a strengths test once that labeled Connector as my greatest strength. Reading that result was like a moment of lifetime validation. It’s why I stopped following an author on Twitter last night because I finally couldn’t stand his negative comments about others (he KNOWS anyone can search his tweets, right?, and Taylor might get her feelings hurt if she reads what you just tweeted about her! Even though her live performance at the Grammy’s was slightly less than stellar. But I’m sure there’s a good reason for that.) It’s why I know I’ll never be a big time blogger because I just hate talking about the topics that divide us and make us want to leave strongly worded comments.
So at that game I had an idea. What if, in the name of good sportsmanship, each team sent one parent representative to sit among the parents of the other team. Then, when the opposing team started to grumble about our big guy’s black cloud, I could tell them about how his life has only been stabilized in the last couple of years and really he’s so much better behaved than he was as a fourth grader. They, in turn, could give me back stories on their players. Understanding would ensue. Peace would prevail.
What do you think? Could this be a Nobel Peace Prize winning entry? I think so, too.