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2020 Vision: Doing it better

If everything was perfect all the time, would anything ever be good? Would we ever grow?

It’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel during the COVID-19 lockdown. But, with more time to myself than usual, I’ve begun to see the forest for the trees.

No, we don’t have any sports to watch, but young folks are being exposed to greatness from the past. People who never saw Michael Jordan play are getting schooled on His Airness. 

We’re finding new ways to connect with one another, whether it be in the form of Zoom video conferences or sharing a picnic blanket from a healthy six feet apart. 

I’ve connected with more people from my past in these last few months than any time I can remember, and it’s because now, more than ever, I value connection above all else. 

Before the shutdown, I was content to be alone in my apartment. I looked for any excuse to keep away from people. 

Now, I’d give anything to be outside with others.

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

It’s a difficult sentiment to square as nearly 100,000 people have lost their lives to COVID-19, but their deaths don’t have to be in vain.

My hope is that we do not return to normal, because normal wasn’t good enough to begin with.

I’m seeing compassion, people doing their best to help one another and a general willingness to be a better friend or neighbor.

It takes pain to see true growth.

Any coach can tell you that success doesn’t just arise from nowhere. It takes struggle. It takes will, determination and might. Ultimately, it takes a lot of losing.

I’m borderline obsessed with ‘The Last Dance’ at the moment, so forgive my relentless analogies to the new Michael Jordan documentary.

But, he was cut from his high school basketball team. We forget that it took him seven seasons of being bullied by the Bad Boy Pistons before MJ became the legend we know him as today.

It took years of struggle before he came to value what any great athlete will tell you is the most important trait you can have in team sports: a willingness to trust your teammates.

It took MJ trying to do it by himself and losing before he became willing to pass to the open man. Once he was lost, then he found John Paxson.

While we may be adrift as a society today, I believe the seeds are being sewn for a better future.

One where we cherish the things we have instead of what we want.

Where we value each other, being connected and giving and helping.

It is the only way out of this nightmare, and the only way to make it mean anything.