Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pep Talk: "When It Comes To Teamwork"

For long-suffering Rocky Mountain baseball fans, this year’s edition of the Colorado Rockies has been a blessing. With a week left in the regular season, a strong finish earns the Nolan Arenado-led squad its first post-season appearance in almost a decade. I wear my purple Rockies’ golf shirt often. Darling wife cracks, “When was the last time you washed that thing?” Haha.

Come on Rockies, hang on! Teamwork. The key to success wherever we roam. The venues certainly vary but the vision cannot. Whether it’s baseball, family, business, church, school, non-profit or whatever endeavor brings a group of individuals together, a belief in something more important than self is critical.

That was the conversation topic recently as your knucklehead scribe visited with dudes currently living in a Denver halfway house. Incarcerated men on the comeback trail and re-entering society. Like all of us, in need of a team around them for any chance of success. Self-reliance is important but, life is too difficult to navigate on our own.

Those were the wise words from King Solomon about 3,000 years ago. From what I understand, at the time of writing the Old Testament’s Ecclesiastes, Solomon was a grumpy old man venting about life, especially traveling through it. Times were barbaric then with lots of wild people and animals. Danger lurked everywhere. About roaming too far from home, Solomon offered in the fourth chapter, “One will be overpowered; two can defend themselves, but a cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

Name your team. It might be an elderly-care facility like where my mom lives; a community outreach wellness movement like A Stronger Cord or any collection of humans offering a collective spirit for a common cause. When it works? The sense of accomplishment is magical. It was more than 40 years ago but it seems like yesterday. The Ray-South Cardinals won every regular season game and advanced to the Missouri state playoffs for the first time in school history. This ol’ jock was the southpaw quarterback of that selfless group. That season of football and life forever burrowed within us the power of believing in something bigger than self. One heartbeat.

A desire to surrender ourselves for the greater good? Does that exist? Sure. In these times, does America need more? Maybe. I must admit to having many halfway house buddies look at me kinda crazy-like when it was offered, “Practice random acts of kindness toward one another.” It’s not how most are wired. These days, sadly, it’s not how most of America is wired. We need to build a stronger cord to one another.

Time with the dudes ended with us bellowing in unison, “Good, better, best; never let it rest. Till our good is better and our better is our best!” That’s how, I hope, the Rockies’ season ends and your future goes. This week, when it comes to teamwork, let’s make our good better and our better our best!

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