Face of courage – acceptance, empathy & kindness
Posted by Arman
What can we learn from this team of teenage football players?
The normal (which is anything but normal) would have been the rejection, bullying and isolation of this special boy with learning disability and who struggles with boundaries. It would’ve been the usual story for a team pumping with testosterone and adrenaline to reject Keith’s impulsive hugs. Yet in this case, it was the exact opposite. The team showed courage in not only accepting Keith as one of their own but they displayed great empathy and kindness in accepting him as he is, accepting his hugs without awkwardness and ultimately in working together as a team to get him a touch down. They made his day, their own day and the day for every single person who witnesses this small miracle.
And why is this my face of courage today?
Too often people reject that which is not familiar to them, unlike them or in contradiction to their values. Most people like to play it safe – they stay in the middle of the tried and true road, they cling to cultural norms that are no longer valid, they stick to family rules which became outdated 50 years ago. In the quest to be safe and not sorry, people reject change or difference – in skin color, ideas, ethnic or sexual orientation.. and that list can go on forever. What is safe is that which is known and has majority in their particular sphere of interaction.
Children learn from their elders. Even as adults our choices are to a large extent influenced by our peers, social conditioning and families. The kindness and empathy of these teenagers reflect well on the people they come from, the adults (parents, coach, teachers) who have the power to influence their action and the people they live amongst. It’s not just a victory of courage for the boys themselves but also the community they live in. It will also pave the way and remain a shining example for the generations who will come after.
Now isn’t this a much nicer legacy to leave behind? What do you think?
- Empahy and the Lack of It (robertlindsay.wordpress.com)
- Stoic Empathy (theperezperspective.wordpress.com)
- Does power make you mean? (thehartford.com)
- Taking a Stand (timesunion.com)
- Empathy – ‘blogged’ by room 9 (room9shines.wordpress.com)
- Empathy Video Games Change Players Thinking (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Finding the Courage to Let Go of the Familiar and Make a Change (tinybuddha.com)
- Dealing with Dicks (robertringer.com)
Posted on November 12, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Emotion, empathy, Ethics, face of courage, football players, football team, Human, kindness, Mich., middle-school football team, Norm (social), Olivet, Olivet Eagles, special, Special needs football player. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.