Brief post: Kids basketball and nursing
I haven’t posted in a while. I hate to use the excuse that life is busy, but … life has been overwhelmingly busy. My children, family, several jobs, and the future have been dominating my time. I also have had to make changes to the blog, since wordpress was not supporting my template well. There have been a few rough-draft posts written, but none of them have yet made the cut to post. However, something happened today that I felt compelled to share.
Kids Basketball and Nursing
Today I was literally moved to tears watching a bunch of 7 to 9-year-old kids play basketball. I was there to support my youngest daughter in her cheerleading endeavors, another post entirely, and was unavoidably drawn into the excitement on the court. The two teams of kids I observed have played each other several times, with the point of the league being to expose kids to good sportsman-like conduct, rules of the game, teamwork, and expose them to exercise.
Today, something magical happened. One team had obviously been advised by their coach prior to the game that one of the players had not yet ‘scored’ during any of the previous 5 games. His kids were listening, more than listening, they made it their mission to help this player succeed at scoring. Today was game 6 and close to the end of these little ones’ basketball season. Every single time this team took the ball to their end of the court to score, every player, no matter their age, gender, or talent, sought out the player who had not scored and passed him the ball, encouraging him to ‘shoot it’. Time after time I watched these kids, who played with utter joy and no trace of resentment, work to provide this child with the opportunity to shoot the ball. Every time they went down the court their eyes sought him out. They moved to pass him the ball and then they verbally cheered him on. Sometimes he did not catch their pass and the ball moved out-of-bounds to the other team, sometimes he passed it off, and many times he shot, improving each time, but never making the score. None of the children showed any sign of resentment, tantrum, or bitterness. They continued to play with happiness, smiling and laughing as they bounded up and down the court.
Now, it is at this point many people roll their eyes and would comment that these kids are not really learning the true meaning of sports, competition, being the best, etc., and that this team was creating false sense of relevancy for this player. I beg to differ. What I observed was a miracle of human kindness, humanity, encouragement, learning, team work, and joy. The coach never reminded or encouraged any of his players to take on the cause of this one child. The children took this on themselves. They worked hard to provide opportunity to learn, not unfair advantage.
Observing all of this I wondered… how often do we miss this chance within the nursing profession? More importantly, how many times have I exhibited this same encouragement, teamwork, and opportunity with sheer joy, pleasure, and happiness? The world in general, and nursing specifically, could stand to watch a few kids basketball games like this. I am better, and thankful, for having observed this true miracle. May we as nurses play with sheer joy and advocate for our members, their opportunities to learn, and for true teamwork.