In soccer a good first touch is important. It makes what you do after that easier because you’re not under pressure. This post serves as a reminder to myself to make the right choices to make a good first impression when meeting people too. Having an independent arbiter in soccer (the referee) does not give me the right to abdicate my responsibility of being a good person. This should never be up for debate. Every time we interact with others we have the opportunity to make an impression; good, bad, or forgettable. One of these is best. One of these is fine. One of these should never be the goal. Choose kindness, friends. Choose kindness Hamish.
In the last two games of soccer I’ve played, I have instigated a small incident of poor spirit. I believed the person I was marking had done something first to prompt it, but that is even more reason to play with the best spirit I can. Someone else ‘starting something’ give no right for retaliation. Ever. Both incidents were small, and thankfully both times, the opposition player calmly explained their perspective. This is something I actively need to work on. In a social league where everyone is paying to play and have fun, I should be trying my best to play hard, play fair, and ensure everyone enjoys the game. Even and because there is an independent referee.
Though I am almost certain these two players will not read this blog post, I would like to apologise again for my poor conduct on the field. If we were playing in a league with official punishments, on both occasions I believe it would have been completely fair for me to have been givena yellow card. Hamish, this is your encouragement to be better. Acknowledge your mistakes and do better tomorrow, and at your next soccer game next Monday.
How might this apply to an out of sport context? No one owes us anything. We should not expect to receive any special treatment other than that which we work hard to make happen. I am a writer. I want to publish my work so it is available for others to read and, if they wish to, offer financial support to help me spend more of my time writing. If my writing is not something a person enjoys, they are entitled to say so. It is valid and encouraging for people to form their own opinion. However, this does not give me the right to disparage any part of their work, creative endeavours, or life. What a reader thinks is more likely to help me if I engage in a pragmatic discussion, than if I respond in an aggressive manner. Maybe they have some tangible suggestions. Or maybe it’s just not for them because what I write will not be for everyone. This is to be expected, and this is ok.
To finish this reminder to myself, I have three questions for you Hamish: In those two soccer games, how do you think those players would have responded if you initiated an assertive discussion rather than an aggressive one? Do you think you could have had that discussion coherently on the field? What would have happened if you acknowledged your feeling of being wronged, thought about it, and then had the discussion after the game if you still thought it was necessary?
We all make mistakes. Tomorrow will provide opportunity to amend today’s, or do our utmost to not make the same mistake again.
Keep on keeping on being awesome. Peace.