We watched the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final on Sunday night. Don’t run away from reading this if you don’t like sports. It really isn’t about sports. It is about the intelligence of Elephants. Well. Not really. But please stay.
Okay. So the game. For those of you who did not watch, or know about this, it was Notre Dame vs. Baylor.
Baylor was killing ND the entire game. It was one of the most disappointing finals I had watched in a long time. Baylor seemed to be this well-oiled machine, making good use of their possessions, choosing solid shots, and being in the right place at the right time.
Then there were the Fighting Irish. It simply looked like they were trying too hard. Nothing was happening for them. Shots were not falling. They were turning the ball over, and making mental mistakes.
If you were to compare it to food, it would be like a New York City slice of pizza vs. Totinos Pizza Rolls.
Late in the game, Notre Dame was trailing by probably a dozen points or so. Then the sadness happened. One of Baylor’s big girls, Lauren Cox, got into a mix under the basket. Her knee gave way, and she was out of the game, just like that.
And then, Notre Dame came back. Just like that. They tied up the game. The score went back and forth until the final second. Spoiler alert. Baylor won, 82-81.
But here is the thing. Watching the entire game, you would not really have even noticed Lauren Cox. She had only scored 8 points. And only 8 rebounds. Nothing earth shattering by any means. But she played big under the basket. And. I do not wish to take away from her abilities. She is a really good player, and clearly she was fulfilling her role.
And that’s the key phrase. Fulfilling her role. She was the fourth wheel on the cart. The minute hand on the watch. She was the piston in the carburetor. (Okay, I don’t think carburetors have pistons, but I’m sure you are following.)
She was part of the whole. Those five women had spent a zillion hours practicing and playing together. The five of them acting as one. The Baylor starters had lost a piece of their pie. And once she disappeared, so did their rhythm. Their Mojo. Their coherence.
That’s all of us, really. To a certain extent. We, whether we like it or not, are a part of the picture. We are the ear of the Mona Lisa. Sure it is off to the side. But if it isn’t there, you can surely tell it is missing.
Truly. That is us. Whether we know it or not.
Everything we do. Everywhere we go. Every bit of our being, is constantly affecting the world around us. We may not realize the impact that we are having. But trust me. We are transforming, and altering, and touching. Someone. Somewhere. Somehow.
We can’t help it. That’s how it works.
If you smile kindly at some unsuspecting buffoon, he or she might lighten up when they go on to meet the next person in their day.
Conversely, if you were rude to that waitress at lunch, she might go home and really take it out on her toddler son.
We don’t know how we glide, or bump, or bang into the Universe. But I think most of the time, we know when we’ve acted kindly, admirably, wholesomely, honestly, honorably.
Yeah. We know it.
And then. Our impact finds its good way.
We make our difference in being a part of the whole.
“If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired.”
― Askhari Johnson Hodari, Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks
“The deepest of level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept.”
― Thomas Merton