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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Strength of Character

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and controversy.  ~  Martin Luther King, Jr

I wonder if MLK Jr was job hunting when he said this?

Nothing will shake someone more than a prolonged job hunt. You begin with spirits high, resume in hand, and with the world (not) waiting for you to come calling. You send out a few résumés... crickets. No big deal, you think, I'm only just starting out, something will happen. You do your due diligence and keep plugging away, reworking your résumé a little, rewriting your cover letter. And then a call. And then another. Off to the interview you go. It's short and sweet so you figure it went well. You sit by your phone checking it every 9 seconds like you were checking it after a first date, but no calls and no emails. You try to shrug it off, but self doubt starts to creep in. You're confidence begins to waiver just a little. I should have done this differently. I should have said this and not that.

Shaken just a little, you move on. But you begin to wonder if that was your window of opportunity and it just closed on your fingers. Nonetheless you don't give up. You can't.

Radio silence.

The time between calls gets longer. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. You are buoyed, if only slightly, by the odd call back but when the result is much the same as it was before the self doubt is much the same as it was before - only worse. The walks home get a little longer and a little lonelier. Now it's stressful. You're awake at night and it's with you everywhere you go. You walk by someone walking home from work and you just want to be them. You want to walk with the same purpose they do. Maybe if you walk faster you'll be able to get out from underneath this cloud that is hanging over you. This has to end somewhere, sometime, doesn't it?

 If the ultimate measure is where a man stands in moments of challenge, then stand in the unemployment line.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Starting Over

It's a curious situation being an adult intern. Like a big kid at the little kids rodeo. Like the 12 year old playing the board game for 4-6 yr olds. He's played this game before but is hardly a master at it. Sure he will get things wrong, but life experience has taught him a few things along the way. Girls aren't icky anymore. Kraft Dinner is now a dinner for two. And life keeps on moving even if sometimes you just wish it would slow down and let you catch up for a second. Or at the very least take a few of those years back.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Your Life's Footprint

The greatest legacy is that which benefits the widest number of people for the longest period without limit to value.  Cat Stevens

Baseball lost a great man today. Gary Carter succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 57. Best remembered for his contributions to the 1986 New York Mets and their World Series championship, he was a leader. But that is not why I write today. I write not to eulogize him. Instead I write because I am thinking of the legacy of life and the footprint we leave during our time on this terra firma.

Gary Carter had no impact on my life. However there are those that he did impact - friends, family, and teammates alike.

It can be quite humbling to think of one's impact on the world. Who will remember you when you are gone? What will they say? Some will have more influence on other people's lives than others, but no one leaves this world without making some sort of impact. To be a leader is to not only get people to follow you, but to understand the impact you have. You may not be aware of it, but it is happening. And this impact can last long after your respective lives have charted different courses. And this was the impact of Gary Carter. He was a man who did not participate in the wild living of his teammates, but instead walked the straight and narrow. It was years after that many of his teammates realized he was a man ahead of his time. They looked back fondly on the time they spent with him and realized the impact he had on their lives.

Three years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to begin coaching baseball. It was, in fact, my main motivation for beginning this blog. I've documented what I've learned a long the way and some of the experiences I've had. I've had the chance to teach and learn all at once. It can be somewhat humbling knowing that years down the road something I said or did may be remembered by one of the kids. I have no way of knowing if it will positively impact their lives the way Gary Carter did with the people he shared his life with, but I can only hope.
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