“Did I hear right? Tebow is coming to NY!?” This was my post on Facebook the day his trade was announced. Excited, I thought he would infuse some positive energy into my favorite sport and team. Little did I know that one innocently written sentence was lifting the lid on football’s version of Pandora’s box.
They (the comments) came flying in from all over from people I didn’t even know. Although there were a few excited fans, insolence and anger was the main theme. Shocked and shaken by the rage, I realized my anxiety wasn’t over the controversy. I felt sorrow and frustration from the hatred expressed…all over a kid who bows.
Part of my duties as an activist is to write and implement programs in schools that promote health, and well being. High on the agenda is conflict resolution and bullying prevention. As a nation, we are making headway bringing awareness and also in dealing with the aftermath bullying creates, but we are at a loss over how to prevent the underlying causes that promote this unbearable behavior. My focus is to teach kids about spreading goodness and about energy exchange through what I call, “The Law of Return” (which means, whatever you do, good or bad, will come back to you). Another program addresses moods and makes children aware of the outside and inside influences that affect their bodies’ bio-chemistry. This helps them understand where negative feelings may stem from so they can appropriately handle and manipulate them before they are unleashed on others.
After reading the Facebook posts, I felt bullied! A Giants fan tears me apart verbally because I am a Jets fan…how does this make sense? Since I was a little girl, I have loved many teams, but have never found it necessary to hate any of them. If you love the game, how do you not make it a “pastime” to find the good in all of it? The talent, the sportsmanship, the incredible human and spiritual energy it generates: What turns passion into fury? Could it be bio-chemistry? Money? Some jealousy? Why would grown adults spew, spit and fight over what is supposed to be enjoyable and entertaining?
There is some research needed before I can answer these questions, but this is clear; if we as adults expect our children to be civil, sympathetic and honorable, then we need to change the way we handle our own verbiage and emotions. If we don’t, our kids will never have a shot at becoming problem solvers and peacemakers, and we will forever perpetuate the incivility we are now experiencing in our “Un-United States.”
In the end, Tebow may or may not be bringing in what the Jets need to win a Super Bowl, but he is bringing in some form of lesson to a nation that is in dire need of finding its way back to honor, integrity and grace. Perhaps all we need to turn ourselves around is to look for the good versus the bad in everything we encounter. Perhaps we can start with sports. After all, isn’t the whole idea of athleticism supposed to be about seeking out the best of what we have to offer? We need to remember: The human race is not a challenge...it is a team. We need to find a way to pull it together before we all lose.
For more information on programs for your school, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo taken from http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/denver-broncos-quarterback-tim-tebow-is-the-biggest-story-in-the-nfl-this-year/2011/12/13/gIQAXt0duO_story.html