I did grow up in LA and at some point of my life I was a baseball fan. I recorded baseball games on VHS tapes (another “Google it” moment) but never watched them again. I collected baseball cards. I went to Dodgers games w my friends and had fun hanging out.
But at some point I found it too boring to watch. I would rail on it. I would wish for it’s overall demise and collapse, like the entire sport to become extinct. I would be irate if a playoff baseball game preempted a regular-season hockey or football game. I would have moderately playful arguments on social media with friends over which sport was better, baseball or hockey, and which athletes were tougher (playful in quotes).
But then the LA dodgers made it to the World Series this year, and I couldn’t get a ticket onto the bandwagon fast enough. I rushed out and got an LA hat just in time for Game 1. I referred to the team as “We”. I posted on social media joking about how I didn’t know how to keep score. I was very obnoxious mostly because it made my wife roll her eyes at me. She would ask me insider types of things like, “You don’t know why 4th in the rotation is important? What kind of fan are you?!” But I was genuinely interested and excited about the games.
Game 6 was on Halloween, which meant trick or treating. Luckily about every 5th house or so had a Man Cave in the garage with the game on, and it was tense as we would get an update. But the cool thing was, after Game 6 and they won to push Game 7, I went on Facebook and “Liked” a bunch of my friends’ celebratory posts. It was cool to be a part of it. It was cool to support “MY” local team.
I joined the LA Kings bandwagon for their Stanley Cup runs for similar reasons. Hockey is the main sport I follow, and I am a huge fan of hockey in general, so I was going to watch anyway. So I might as well root for a team. I didn’t run out and get a hat or other merch, but I was tempted to. It felt good to support a team with a mission.
You might think this is a stretch, but this could apply to people too. Like regular people. Like your kids. Like your family. Like your friends. Like your co-workers. Now, wait for it, even the coworkers you don’t like, especially those coworkers. That one makes me cringe. That is the one I need to work on, along with my overall positive attitude. A lot of work. Lots.
Have you done something nice for someone? Sure you have. Or have you gone on a missions trip? Or a did volunteer work for a charity? Or maybe even simply donated to a charity? It felt good didn’t it? Depending on what you were doing it felt good to be a part of something or to help make a difference. Or just picking up that thing a stranger dropped can bring a rush of positive vibes (sorry for the scientific terminology).
It feels good to be a part of something that is making a difference or contributing in a positive way. It can feel good to help people along with their mission in life, to help them find their purpose. It can feel good to come alongside someone for their journey.
We live in troubling times with troubling events happening every day with very few solutions. I hear that love is an answer, the answer, but is it? Is that something I believe? Is that how I live? You wouldn’t think so if you read my complaints about work. You might think twice about partnering with me on my mission, if that were the case. You also wouldn’t think so if you heard how I respond to the news.
As fun as the Dodgers bandwagon has been the last couple of days, I doubt I have a permanent seat. I know when next season comes around, my interest in 182,000 games will not be as high as it has been for the last seven, which is understandable, I think. The playoffs are always more exciting than game number 65,887 on a Wednesday in the middle of July. But I will do my best to decrease the vitriol I have had before this series.
The same goes for my life outside of baseball. I am sure I’ve mentioned it in other posts (that’s the hint to go read my other posts after this) that I am a work in progress. Progress may be slow, but hopefully there is progress. Loving and being a part of people’s missions for a better life and world for everyone is something I hope to do more of, even if it’s in small ways like a more positive attitude or donating to people or causes that are making an impact in the world. Showing love to the people around me that may not be my favorite people could make all the difference in their world. Maybe just start with a smile. There is always the being-a-good-example part of parenthood that is good for me and good for my kids as well.
From the Dodgers bandwagon to the bandwagon of love, I will make continue the journey myself and with others. There’s plenty of room for you to hop on!
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