Listening to the live broadcast from world-champion Yankee's locker room last night, I noticed something interesting.
(If you aren't a baseball fan, please bear with me, this isn't going to be a post about baseball, I promise. If you are a bitter Red Sox fan, you probably don't even want to read this blog, cuz I do root for the Yanks.)
So I was listening as the reporters were milling around the champagne soaked locker room, asking all of the various players how they felt, how happy they are to win, and a couple other typical questions. If you think about it, it's pretty dumb. If you ask a player who has just become a World Champion baseball player "how happy are you right now?" what do you expect them to say? "Not very"? Or perhaps "I'd rather be having my tooth pulled"?
But as there aren't many other questions one could ask, the players are all asked about their state of happiness and the like. So they interviewed Mark Texiera, and asked him what it feels like. His answer stunned me. I mean, it was simple, but fascinating.
"This is what you dream about ever since you are a kid." He went on to describe how this moment is a culmination of the dreams and hopes he'd had since early childhood. Now, I could go off on a tangent about "anu ameilim veheim ameilim," but I won't bother. Instead, I'll just point out how this whole thing takes on a totally different perspective when you think of it this way.
On the surface, the Yankee win meant a swarm of hugging men storming the pitchers mound. It meant 50 thousand fans all around the stadium cheering and screaming. It meant fans from all over streaming to their nearest Modell's to purchase "World Champion" tee-shirts, despite the clock striking midnight.
But it was so much more than that. It was also about one man by the name of Mark who toiled since the age of four to strengthen his game, to make the big leagues, to win games and ultimately, to win a championship.
It's like the time I was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike, alongside Newark Airport. A plane was coming in for a landing, and as I looked up through my sun roof, (to the backdrop of my mother screaming "eyes on the road!!") there was an enormous plane directly above me, not more than a few feet up onto the air.
On the surface, it was cool. A huge plane, so low I could practically touch it. But as I drove on past the airport, I got lost in some thoughts. Yeah, a plane that size holds a ton of passengers, but imagine what happens if we take it down to a personal level.
Coming in for a landing was, not a plane, but Kathy, an aspiring business woman who was headed to New York to meet with some people. The outcome of this meeting might jump start her career and launch her into stardom. Or this meeting might send it crashing down before it ever starts.
Landing at this moment in Newark airport is, not a plane, but Will, who's father is dying in a New York hospital. The fight was years ago, but Will hasn't spoken to his father since then. Now it's possibly his last chance, and Will is facing a battle against time. Will he make it to his father's bedside in time?
Suddenly, as I think of all the PEOPLE that are involved, life turns from a monotonous black and white into a wondrous display of color. Because I think to myself, I am here with my story, my history, my reason for being here, so must she. And he. And she. And he.
As Stalin said "when one man dies it's a tragedy, when a million men die it's a statistic." Each man has a story, yet when we come together we lose our individuality and our individual purpose. But If we stand back and remember that each and every person has their own unique story, their own wealth of experience that brought them to that point, the world is just more interesting.
We are all so busy trying to achieve our goals, we sometimes forget to notice that everyone else is too.