Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caring, Sharing, and Giving Back

Yesterday it was HOT and SUNNY as I sat on the sidelines watching a team with both the familiar yellow Igloo coolers and an incredible super professional mister whoop up on my team!  I really wasn't sure, at first, what I saw over on the other side of the super-turf field behind those yellow coolers and the players in professional looking uniforms. 

Initially, I thought it was some sort of giant spray bottle that some overzealous team trainer was spraying.  Later, I realized that it was likely  the same device that Texas professional football teams use to keep cool in the hot Southwest sun! 

Aquality's Sports Sideline Cooling SystemsInitially, I thought this community must have some super duper taxes and while I could never afford to live there, I sure was glad they took such good care or their kids.  Later, thanks to someone who knows more sports trivia than anyone should ever know, such as who went to what college and who has the most ups and downs, I found that a former student had provided it all.

Initially, I thought, "Gee this isn't fair.  Why didn't you get us a mister?"  Later, as I lay in bed slathered with aloe to take pain of the day away, I thought about Ray, who I will likely never meet, yet may well serve as a model of caring, sharing, and giving!

Today, I did a quick search of the internet and found that while he certainly earns a generous salary, like most in professional sports, he has also given very generously to both his hometown and to the town where he works and lives now.  In fact, I am pretty sure that he is a lot more like me than I could have ever imagined, except that my salary, as a public school teacher is a whole lot less!  In fact, I suspect he is a lot more like all of the coaches on the field and all parents in the stands than I could have every imagined! 

I found Ray's quote this morning.  I could have said it many times as I watched my own children grow into young adults while caring, sharing and giving as my best.  I could have said it many times as I coached newbie teachers over the gauntlet of a challenging career, caring, sharing and giving back.  I could have said it many times in my teaching career as I coached reluctant readers and struggling learners, caring for them, sharing books and giving them lots of support. 

The coaches, who stood stoically on the hot sidelines all afternoon and who, then, rode home on a hot yellow school bus with grimy, smelly, exhausted and defeated young men likely said it as they climbed onto that bus knowing the road ahead would include caring, sharing and rebuilding bodies and spirits.   

I’d do anything for those kids. Any time I get a chance to help them out I’m going to do it. I like when people work hard. I like to see hard work pay off.”

PS. Thanks to Ray Rice but also to ALL those coaches, parents and fans who give of themselves with all the gifts they are endowed each and every weekend too!    

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