Don’t lose your touch

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.

Cover photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

7 thoughts on “Don’t lose your touch

  1. K.L. Hale says:

    What a beautiful post my friend. Humility is admirable. I was an athlete and coached some. My father as well. And on and off a softball field ,or any other field or court, it’s a daily challenge for me to rise to my ultimate referee, Jesus, who I’m sure we’ve handed me a card at times too. I’m sure the other players would quickly accept any apology~even just by reading this one clearly can understand your heart and head. Grace is an amazing thing. And each day it’s new and we get to keep on keeping on our race of peace! God bless you my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you so very much. On a related note, today while walking home from work I had my headphones in and didn’t feel like engaging in any interactions. There were some street fund-raisers for Doctors Without Borders today and one had just finished am interaction with someone else before I walked past. I knew they would try to engage me in conversation even though I had headphones in, was silently singing, and made not attempt to make eye contact if engage. Usually I would at least acknowledge them, and say add politely as I can “I’m not today in a mental space to talk today thank you.” Today I walked past without acknowledging what I think was a greeting towards me.

      Twenty metres down the footpath I felt a bit guilty for not at least acknowledging them. I felt I needed to show them grace because they’re doing something good. As well as needing to show myself grace for me being in a position to talk today.

      Thank you for your caring and thoughtful words. I pray you feel God’s grace with you this week. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. K.L. Hale says:

        I understand my friend. My mental space can become very crowded. Although you mentally were “filled” what you just shared with me states that your heart is always open. Even if it comes 20 meters later. It matters not. Our creator knows. You’re such a blessing Hamish. I pray you have a peaceful week too.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you for your comment. It’s a good way to live life, showing respect to everyone we meet. We don’t have to agree – and in fact we won’t – but we can have fruitful conversation to understand each other. Thank you, and I hope your week is good, too. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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