There are always going to be Super Stars. Those who excel in sports, brainiacs who score off the academic charts, and corporate suits who climb higher up the proverbial ladder than mere mortals can fathom. It’s hard not to envy. Or not to wonder why one is blessed with the perfect physical anatomy, another with musical genius, and yet another with an IQ that defies any and all explanation. But failure to recognize each person’s strengths, even if they seemingly pale in comparison, or to acknowledge that ALL members are an essential part of the team (or there would be no ‘team’!), can breed a lifetime of disappointment, discontentment, and low self-esteem. ESPECIALLY is you are ‘that person’.
I first heard this song when my boys were youngsters. As Ninja Turtle nuts, they had all the action figures, accessories, and DVD’s, one of which had the following commercial on the trailer. Click on the link below and take a look:
Yes it’s old and the quality isn’t so hot, but this darn commercial brings tears to my eyes every single time I watch it. I’ve seen no better way to exemplify the importance of EVERY position on a baseball team, EVERY student in the classroom, EVERY employee of a company, and EVERY member of the family.
Unfortunately, though, this concept is overlooked time and time again.
The standouts generally receive all the attention and honors. While I don’t subscribe to the belief that 37th place necessarily warrants a trophy (there are always going to be winners and non-winners!), I’m a huge proponent for recognizing and acknowledging each person’s individual gifts and blessings – in and through ALL things.
Sometimes it’s not just the slowest or most challenged that’s ignored. For instance, look at our school system. There are often a multitude of opportunities for the gifted students, and a wide variety of programs for those with special needs, but mainstream kids can spend four years in high school and go essentially unnoticed.
What are we lacking in our values and goals which makes them so skewed? Why is our attention drawn to only ‘Number One’ … and our accolades lavished solely on the winner? Think of how many diamonds in the rough we’re missing. Think of how many hearts we’re breaking. Yes, life isn’t fair, and the reality is that everyone is not equal. I can live with this. What I can’t stomach is not noticing, supporting, and encouraging each person for what they bring to the table. God made us unique for a reason. If he wanted everyone to be a Michael Jordan, he could have made a world full of Jordans…but he didn’t.
Have you seen evidence of this one-sidedness in families with multiple children? Sometimes one child is singled out for the bulk of the praise and is the recipient of the ‘good’ gifts and financial help. I’m not suggesting that the undeserving should receive what they haven’t earned, but I AM suggesting that some pretty fantastic kids fall far below their parents’ radar and are completely passed over, not because they aren’t amazing in their own right, but because comparatively speaking, they aren’t in the number one spot. I’ve seen it time and time again.
Remember Right Field in ALL circumstances, in ALL seasons. Sometimes that shy, quiet kid will have the most to offer, but even if not, I bet he would really appreciate and benefit from the same love and attention as the team’s All Star.
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