Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Agents of Change -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CONTINUING THE LEARNING PROCESS
The student-athletes at the University of Louisville began returning to campus on Monday. A chance for them to reconnect with their teammates, their coaches and staff and other student-athletes.
A different return than in other years. A return that is affected by two major changes in the world we used to know. The COVID-19 Pandemic and the social unrest present over changes needed in our society.
Teams are taught to "rise as one" and be a united unit when they take to their various venues of activity in sporting events. That unity needs to be nurtured and applied in our current situation. An understanding the things that are needed to be done to stay safe, healthy and to battle this deadly virus. Also, the unity in creating an example of how people of all walks of life, socioeconomic status, heritage and upbringing can be brought together as a solid, unified base for the way our society now needs to be.
An acceptance, understanding, respect and practice of all being created equal.
The University of Louisville has received numerous awards for public service, community involvement and academic excellence. These awards must continue to be employed by the student-athletes. No resting on one's laurels. College is a learning experience, use it and benefit from it for the betterment of all. Life is a learning experience. The late Sam Cooke song -- "A Change Is Going To Come" is worth a listen. Our work is not done. Hear the words, act on the words.
LINK: A CHANGE IS GONNA COME
Being agents of change is a task that requires dedication and commitment. Doing the right thing. Working with others to affect a change. Teaching by example and having open, frank, honest and meaningful dialogue and discussions. Being the change that you want others to learn from and follow.
Sporting events will eventually return. So will fan support and attendance of these events. Let them be examples to all that, despite the rivalries and regional differences, at the end of the contest, there is unity.
A coach told me years ago that giving one's all in a contest was all he could ask of an athlete. If my best effort didn't produce a victory, there was no reason to hang my head. As long as I knew that I had "left it all out there on the field of competition" then there was no reason for sorrow. My best that day simply wasn't as good as those who competed against me if we lost. There was a chance to learn from the defeat. To grow.
As a player, these are simple rules to follow:
-- Living clean and playing hard. Playing for the love for game.
-- Winning without boasting, losing without excuses and never quitting
-- Respect for coaching and official's decisions. Accepting them with the knowledge that they were designed for the betterment of the event.
-- Never forgetting that you represent a school or organization and acting accordingly.
These are guidelines than can easily be applied to the world outside of sports.
Living clean, doing the right things and showing love, compassion and understanding. Being complimentary and humble in life's victories, not making up excuses for failures and learning from those defeats. Never quitting. Respect for the proper authority. Not blindly following authority but realizing that if change is needed in authority, that change will come. Representing your cause or idea in a peaceful, non-violent fashion. Being quick to praise, slow to blame and learning from mistakes. Seeing all sides objectively. Doing the right thing. It's time to listen and respond. It's far overdue, but it is never too late.
Authority figures must learn that it is their role to serve, protect and set the right examples. Authority figures must not taunt and belittle. They must see their responsibility of leadership and perform it correctly and effectively.
It is time to stop being a self-sacrificing "me first" society and work toward equality and improvement. It will be a tough battle.
It is long overdue.
We must stay dedicated toward it, though. Don't quit. A player may miss a shot, a block, a pass or assignment...but they do not quit. They learn from the mistake and learn to do better. The five year-old doesn't not make every shot he attempts, but, if the hard work and dedication is there....that five-year old could become an Angel McCoughtry or Asia Durr. Two examples of never quitting. Follow their example. Don't quit on making a change. Don't quit on becoming better. And don't quit on learning and understanding.
I strive to become a little better each day. There are days I win, there are days I lose -- but in my losses, I learn. Will you take that challenge? Will you be an agent of change?
I will not quit. Will you join me ?
As our student-athletes return, so does the learning process. Remember, they are our future. They will be the decision-makers, leaders, agents of changes.
Let us believe in them, support them and understand that there will be good and bad days for them. They will not quit. Support them, support your friends, neighbors and learn how to look at all sides of an issue and grow from your observations.
It takes a much bigger person to admit they were wrong and want to change than being a person who boasts about their accomplishments. Acceptance is the first step in learning. In betterment.
Welcome back, student-athletes. Be that shining example we need in today's world.