Archive for May, 2010
This is the way everyone should play the drums
via Abraham Piper
I played ball with an 8 year old this evening.
He has no fear.
Regardless of your size he’ll take you on.
When a teenager was messing with him and accidentally hurt him he went for a guy three times his size and twice his age
When the teenager backed off
he picked up a shovel and marched purposefully after him.
He’s probably learned already that most people back down when confronted regardless of your size.
When playing soccer he didn’t care if he made a mistake.
He kept trying.
He kept going.
He tried little tricks that he had learned to get past me.
Contrast that with my Smallest Brother who is now 13.
Soccer isn’t his thing
He stayed out of the game
The fact he’s not into soccer doesn’t bother me.
It’s more how I’ve observed him recently that concerns me.
He is very hesitant. He doesn’t like to do things where he can’t automatically succeed.
He has a fear of failure which isn’t unusual.
But sometimes he’s even afraid to try.
Another thing that concerns me
is the propensity among teenagers my brother’s age and older to celebrate oneupmanship
regardless of the triviality of the matter
regardless of how the point is scored
regardless of who it is scored against.
It creates a façade and a culture where messing up is to be avoided at all costs.
If you expect to go through life without failing
you’re in for some disappointment.
In fact, life will pass you by.
So I played ball with the eight year old and his friend.
Did I hold back in the game?
I held back from using my strength obviously
but I didn’t hold back any of my skill
or my experience
in playing with them.
This annoyed someone who was watching.
“Why are you doing that? It’s easy to beat the kids Why not just let them score?”
The point wasn’t to beat them
It was to teach them
and to see what lessons they could learn
in playing the game of soccer.
When defending you should rarely dive in for the ball
You should hold your position and jockey the opposition
angle your body to make them play the ball where you want them to go.
Each time I had the ball, I would tell my little opponents this.
“Don’t make it easy for me. Make it hard. Just stand off.”
Each time they had the ball, I would tell them:
“Make me work for the ball. Make me come to you and then pass it off”
Most of the time they didn’t listen
but towards the end of the game they had it figured out in parts.
The person who criticised me probably felt it was better to let the kids win.
Life doesn’t let you win.
When you praise a child only for their achievements
they become unmotivated when they don’t achieve
or feel that unless they can achieve
they’re isn’t any point in trying.
No-one was keeping count of the goals but they knew I wasn’t going easy on them.
So when they finally did get one goal
It meant more than a thousand they would have scored if I’d just let them do it.
When my two little tigers scored a goal
or got the ball off me
I didn’t say anything.
Things like that are their own reward.
But when something they tried hadn’t worked
or the shot they attempted went wide
I immediately congratulated them
“Good effort. You hit that shot really well”
“You’ll get it next time. Keep at it”
Success brings its own reward.
It’s when you ran your heart out
busted a gut on the field
and end up lying on the grass listening to those three cheers for the brave runners-up
one of the worst sounds in the world
that you need someone to tell you that the blood, sweat and tears meant something
when you praise a child for the effort they put in
for their hard work
they will work harder and longer for themselves
rather than for results
It’s part of my philosophy on life.
Try and leave a positive imprint, no matter how small, on whoever you meet.
My brother stayed out of the game
sitting on the wall
until a point came when the ball rolled away
and the lads and me were in a heap on the grass
and in front of an open goal
from half a yard away
he kicked it in
“OH YEAH! FAIL ON YE!” he shouted
and looked to me to applaud his efforts
I said nothing and looked away.
This is what breaks my heart.
I know he wants the praise of his biggest brother
I’m just trying to find a way to relate to him on his level.
He’s very sheltered from the world and spoilt in a way
like his three older brothers were
but we had things to teach us about the world
With me it was soccer
With the other two it was GAA and gymnastics/dance
He doesn’t have anything yet.
My 8 year old soccer player can solo the ball
His record is 17 times
and he kept on trying to beat the record in front of me
but he never did
Every time he tried
My brother wouldn’t do that.
He’d only show me something he knew he’d succeed or win at.
In playing computer games with him
he didn’t use a level playing field
he used unfair advantages to win the game for himself
and couldn’t understand it
when I told him I wasn’t going to play any more
I know a point is coming when he won’t long to spend time with me
or want to talk to me
or want to have me praise his efforts
but I desperately need to find a way to relate to him
that teaches him some of the lessons
an 8 year old little kid
has as part of his DNA.
Men and the new SATC movie. Some language. (HT:Damien)
a pain in my head
Last week wasn’t so bad.
In fact last week I thought they were almost completely gone
which is why I thought I could make it into work this week
but I couldn’t get to sleep for three hours on Sunday night
because of the pain
so when I woke up Monday morning
after less than four hours sleep
the drowsiness effect from the medication was in full swing
and the pain was bad too
so I stayed at home.
I got up later just before 12
and managed to have a productive day
and then I felt annoyed with myself
because of the things I had gotten done
that surely meant I could have went to work that day.
Later in the day the pain got very bad
so I had to lie down
and accept my human fallibility and weakness
and wonder what is wrong with me again
and why I can do A, B and C
but not X, Y and Z
and wonder what life holds for me
and how I manage a career when I can’t work in the office.
I also wonder how this would look to someone who thought I was faking it
and don’t want to contemplate the possibility that I’m labelled as a faker
and find some cold solace in the fact that my doctor
said a condition like mine was complex with physical and psychological factors
and that the best thing to do was stay active
and have a regular routine
that should mimic my normal routine as best it can.
and I remind myself that my boss told me
he didn’t want me in the office
in case I fell down the stairs
which is reasonable
but I’m going to get that in writing
just in case.
I remind myself the best way to treat loneliness and tendency to feel a bit down
is to socialise with groups of people
and that by giving into this
by staying at home on my own
not going out
not trying to stay fit
not trying to meet people for coffee on a regular basis
not involving myself in things
would probably have me dead before long.
That’s why I try to do all of those things
even if I do fall down around the house
even if it means I struggle to operate fully
even if I have to lie down at times
even with the pain
‘cos the alternative is worse.
I have a good life
even with the
mild to moderate pain
dizziness and nausea
There are things to be thankful for
Stability and security
Health (for the most part)
Food on the table.
I’ll make it to work in the morning
Tags: Christianity, Christians, My faith, Richard Dawkins
He overstates the point but is it a valid one?
Some objections I would raise are that:
1 – By what threshold is he saying a country is predominantly one religion?
2 – By what measure is religious affiliation identifiable. Is it merely the census box?
3 – In the Christian context the global church is diverse both in terms of race and culture. Indeed the balance is shifting according to some, if I’m still in the faith when I’m 60, I’ll be unusual in being a white Christian