"I didn't know when it was going to come. It took a long time. I just wanted to be ready for that time so that when it came I had no regrets" -Todd Collins, Washington Redskin Quarterback on his rise to the starting QB after 10 years as a backup
... when you ask who ever you ask, for that moment, for that time, a chance for your greatness, how many of us are prepared? What are you doing to get ready for your chance when fate chooses you for your moment?
I have no real regrets, because I moved as though my moment could happen at any moment. That boxing didn't take me to the heights that I'd hope for never gave me pause. When my career started to wind down, I would see cats from my neighborhood, in all kind of states that I was glad that I was not in. Sure, a couple had built a nice life for themselves, but more than it should have been peaked in high school ...
... boxing did what it was supposed to ... got me to right now!
ESPN did a feature on the Washington Redskins and the effect that the tragedy of Sean Taylor's untimely death had on the team. As his teammates speak about him, I remember when the report of his murder first broke. The press was very biased, and given his indiscretions on and off the field, it would seem warranted. The 'kool-aid drinkers' made a case for understanding and offered up his recent changes in characters as testament to his life having more value than the media was giving it. They assailed the media for its biased, pigeon-holed coverage of the Taylor death. This time, the 'kool-aid' drinkers were right.
My issue wasn't with how he was covered, I didn't like Sean Taylor for what he represented to me. He was a punk, a bully, a cat who made my adolescence problematic. "But he changed," wailed the 'kool-aid' drinkers, "he grew up." Big deal, I thought. After years of being a jerk and the bane of kids like me, he found his maturity. Big whoop. He used to be an a--hole, then he changed. Yay! Whatever.
Sitting and watching the piece and seeing the emotions of the people speaking on how his death affected them, the revisonist department of my mine started hustlin' around, because changes were coming. See, I am trying to remake myself, from being called a cad <which is the worst thing anyone ever called me ... anyone can call you a 'MF' or 'A-HOLE' because that took thought and consideration>, and I have been a jerk and worse.
To expect forgiveness, you have to also be wiling to forgive. Watching this piece, because I hope to make a similar transformation, changed my original opinion of Sean Taylor, and I forgave him.
ON FORGIVENESS ...
Big concept. But like how a mouse would eat an elephant, you take it in small bites until you are finished.
My 'forgiveness' of Sean Taylor is not on the epic scale of being granted forgiveness by Mother Teresa or getting forgiven by your local priest. Small forgiveness take place all the time, everywhere. Now, I am not 'forgiving' Sean Taylor, but for those who he represented to me. This ain't that high a concept at work here. We do it all the time, do it unconsciously. I happen to be just a wee bit more aware of it than most folks, because I do, I have to acknowledge it.
So the antagonists of my life, those who would force me to the walls passing class in jr. high, the motorist who splash me with puddles when the adjacent lanes were empty when they see me running by the road, those folks and their ilk, are my 'Sean Taylor'.
I do think that these small act forgiveness, the barely there kindness, that either allows for or keeps people from finding the peace that is residing within. I wonder how many still are carrying the small slights of life, thin slices that were once gashes in our psyche. The kind of things that smart aleck's will tell you to just 'get over it' and the new ager would have you to 'let it go' ...
Me, I am real with it. It isn't as simple as it should be. I still remember how my first wife made me feel, and I do think she cost me a chance at a lot of stuff, some direct, others indirect. The taunts in school, the jeers of the crowd, they are all here. Since they won't leave, I play good host, set up the tables and invite them in and talk.
Know your barbarians and your demons, I say. They already know you, get to know them then you will take their power away.
I like to believe that it works for me ...