Thursday, June 14, 2012

Writing After Summer Special Olympics

Dear readers and writers,

My daughter is an intern at Special Olympics and we went down to Long Beach last weekend to be "fans in the stands" to cheer on all those participating at the basketball venue.  During the event, several insights struck me.  First, while competition seems to be the essence of sport elsewhere, and while there are loud cheers for each team playing at the Special Olympics, after the game no one really focuses on being "winner" or "loser."  Instead, the person who made the 3 point shot and brought the scores closer gets a lot of love, and also the other team gets warm greetings.  I'm entering a bunch of contests for writing this summer, and I have readjusted my mind to be happy for whoever wins.  Feels good!  Second, I noticed that no matter how uncoordinated and slow a player was, everyone kept him or her in the game.  And, that person knew the best player to pass the ball to when he/ she did get it.  Often that pass set up a basket.  Each person contributes something.  So, now, I need to focus on what I can uniquely do and say in my writing.  No, I can't be Louise Erdrich.  But that doesn't mean I can't learn to write what I have to say with beauty and memorable language.  Third, the teams usually had a mixture of men and women.  I'm talking about teams of all ages, up to adults.  I was skeptical at first, but it worked well.  Teams seemed to know what each player could do and capitalize on that.  Who-eee, we saw a girl a foot shorter than most of her teammates dribble down the floor and shoot a no-rim basket. So in everyday life, maybe we should focus on how we differ in order to use everyone's best efforts, not to pigeonhole people and ignore some of them.  I write another blog for women in science, and sometimes I need to tell myself how helpful a lot of men are and have been to women in science.  This cooperation we saw was a good reminder of that.   It was a lovely day, and I only cried once.  I highly recommend, enjoyable, and helps the atmosphere for the athletes.  There's one every six months or so. Keep an eye open!  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,
I think the part about not pigeonholing people is the most important thing I always get when I go to these events. Why do we want to do that anyway? THe uniqueness of each person is so apparent but we keep on sorting them into these boxes.
Billie R