In the 1st grade, I played for 2 baseball teams. One team, the Oaks, was structured. We had a coach, uniforms, space at the municipal park, good equipment, officiating, monthly dues, a specific pecking order of players, and parental pressure. Our competition was assigned to us. On my first day with the Oaks, I didn’t know most of the players.
My other team didn’t even have a name. We had no schedule, we had to find, or create our own space to play, had rag-tag equipment, and a loose pecking order of players which rotated – depending on who might be available to play. Though we occasionally had new players join us, the concept of the team was born because we all knew each other, liked baseball, and wanted to play. Of competition, we had to seek out our own – similar groups of like-minded, anxious boys, fighting off the ailment of boredom. Leadership manifest Darwinian style.
Though I played hard for both teams, and many of life’s lessons were learned with each one, I more enjoyed, and feel I got more out of playing for my loosely structured friends team. I feel this way, because it wasn’t a construct – we weren’t placed within it. We owned it.
There was creative fulfillment in assembling equipment, finding a field, seeking out competition, and scheduling our games. Length of game, flexible rules, tools of the game, game times, and who played which position, solidified organically.
There was though, one conflict inherent with playing for two teams at once – that there were times when I had to choose which team I was going to play for, on those Saturdays when each team was an option. Since mom and dad paid the bill for the Oaks, my requirement to play for them superseded my desire to play with my friends. Fortunately, no direct competition ever existed between my league team, and my friends team.
Scanning the headlines today, I see myself once again as a player on two teams. The first team, the Planet Earth. The other team, Team Human Beings. I have a deep appreciation for, and profound responsibilities on behalf of each team. As I reflect on the baseball of my youth this morning, I’m conflicted over who I should be playing for. This time, mom and dad don’t get to make the decision for me.
On this day, my team of Human Beings, with its new coach, has chosen direct competition – to play against my friends team — Team Planet Earth. Since I have appreciation for, and responsibility toward each team, my temptation is to forfeit – and I think of Shakespeare…
“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice…”
Or was it Neil Peart…? No matter.
I am partial to the human animal, since I happen to be one, I have an inherent tendency toward that allegiance. Sitting here though, contemplating – recognizing the Earth’s history as being far greater – far more significant than that of man, I choose that team — Team Earth. I can only hope that 300,000,000 people will stand beside me, and switch teams. That, or get out and vote in the coming elections to help Team Human Being elect a new coach, and a new managerial staff… Jhciacb
If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so. Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Possum Dixon. Enjoy….