Standing for something
That little stuff in life? It matters. You have to stand for something in work and life, otherwise you stand for nothing. Every time I’ve fought AGAINST something without offering an alternative, it’s created agitation vs. the desired result. It has always been far more powerful to be FOR something.
I referee basketball games in Wales. It’s good exercise, keeps my mind nimble following dozens of things at once, requires instant decisions, a cool head and… it’s my favourite sport. I spent two seasons as statistician for Miami’s Heat when they entered the NBA. At floor level, the nuance and seamless interaction between scorer’s table and referees is a ballet necessary to maintain game flow and order. Watching great referees work a game (for me, I’m weird) is like watching an artist paint a masterpiece.
When a coach or player tries to get away with something undeserved, it destroys the bond of trust court. Sunday I whistled a foul. There was a scrum of players under the basket and when making sure I had the right jersey number, neglected to see if the ball had gone through the basket for a field goal. The other referee said it had NOT gone in and I signalled no basket and the foul to the scorer’s table.
The coach and three of his players exploded, adamant it had gone in. Newsflash, refs make mistakes, mostly we own up to them. I checked with the table, they were certain it had not gone in. As I looked back at the bench, one player cracked a smile… giving the ruse away. I looked at the coach and said ‘really?’ and he sheepishly sat down. It cost them later in the game as they tried a quick inbounds pass when the other referee was confused about a possession throw-in later. I whistled the in-bounds play dead, called, ‘unfair advantage’ and gave a new throw-in. Message transmitted and received.
Oh that everything in life was that simple. This is though indicative of the world we now live in. What can I get away with to gain an advantage? But then this is how corporations whittled away at the middle class and got to where they did in the last 30 years. They found the line and immediately began tunnelling under it or pushing the boundary further back to see what they could get away with, never answering the question, who are you and what do you stand FOR?