By Richard Ray:
In a week that has been depressing and exhausting in its tumultuousness, I offer a respite. Even if just temporary, tune in to watch the Little League World Series this weekend. Reality is not going anywhere. Scandal in the White House surrounded by White Nationalist protesters and counter-protesters is real and ongoing. Terrorist scenes in Barcelona, Spain surrounded by horrific tales all across our timelines are an almost daily reality.
Even if you are not a baseball or sports fan, tune in to watch at least some of the games. Lost in the economics and fervor of professional sports is that most sports at least started out as kids games. 11 and 12 year olds play the game in a national spotlight, highlighting what is great (and unfortunately not as common as it should be) about youth sports. Innocents playing for the love of the game. The joy of victory and the agony of defeat, intermixed with great storylines and sportsmanship, by the players, coaches, parents and fans.
It is what is great about sports and to a certain extent what is missing in much of humanity in adulthood. The game is not played perfectly, but even as a former baseball player I enjoy the efforts and the innocence of the kids so much more than I do watching professional baseball, excepting of course when the New York Yankees are on. Sports in general has the capability of providing an escapism to life. Sports can be serious and intense, but kept in perspective it is just games.
Real life… is real. Real life is bills and your family’s well being. Real life is stress and survival. Watching kids play a sport for the pure enjoyment of the game is truly refreshing. The whining and pouting is kept to a minimum. While individuals do often stand out as stars, the Little League World Series is more about team play over individual shine.
I do not work PR for the Little League World Series. Just after a tough week/year, I welcome any opportunity to share elements of joy to the same extent I feel obligated to expose struggle and social injustice. The games may not change any of our reality, but they are a much needed reminder that innocence and joy still exist. It is our jobs as adults to teach our children… but often I fell that we can learn so much more from them. After all hate is not innate but learned!
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