Amidst the 24-hour news cycle pre-occupied with the indictments of the former President of the United States and the son of the current President, I figured I would take a moment to celebrate some of the more positive things I have witnessed over the past two weeks.
The Women’s World Cup
The first is a continuation of last week’s Monday Morning Mojo about the women’s world cup. I am writing this after watching the England-Columbia game in the wee hours of the morning this past weekend and am just thoroughly enjoying this contest. The quality of this soccer has improved so much globally and every game in this stretch to the finals has an element of excitement. I just love watching the Columbians, English, Australians, and Spanish play, and will most likely stay up for the finals this coming week given this is the first time any one of the teams still in contention will take home the cup.
Reflection On The US Team
I am proud of long-term dominance of the US at this tournament and have nothing but admiration for this team. In my opinion these women received a lot of unfair criticism recently, and given all they have accomplished for women’s soccer, both on the field and off the field, they should be celebrated. The fact that they had a lackluster tournament is what it is, and given the hype before the tournament, I am not surprised. I think it is a time to take a moment to celebrate their accomplishments.
For those who have not been following the tournament, this week England plays Australia in one semi-final match, and Sweden plays Spain in the other. The winners of both play in the final next Sunday.
Ideas That Become Movements
I recently watched the movie Champions, starring Woody Harrelson. This is a movie, based on a true story, about a professional basketball coach who ends up coaching a small community team of players with intellectual disabilities. I saw Tim Shriver was a consultant to the movie. Tim is Chairman of the Special Olympics and someone I have worked with over the past decade related to the organization his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded in 1968, to serve people with intellectual disabilities. I have written about the Special Olympics before, and the cool thing about this organization is that it began as an idea and a camp for kids with intellectual disabilities at the Shriver’s home. Today Special Olympics has become a huge movement touching millions of people. This summer the Special Olympics held its world games in Berlin, and the production mirrors that of the Olympics. Special Olympics is all about “Inclusion”, and I have witnessed first-hand how transformative this can be for the participants. I think we have a lot to learn about how important “inclusion” is, not just for Special Olympians, but for people across society today. Take a look at this promo video for the Games in Berlin this summer.
Random Acts of Kindness
On the topic of inclusion, I have been encouraging people around me to take a moment to be less judgmental and more understanding. Recently I sound like a broken record on this topic with my kids. I have found people who are usually mean, impatient, and insensitive are usually struggling with their own shit. The counsel I share with my kids, for what it is worth, is this: “kill them with kindness.”
As for random acts of kindness, I read a great post recently about a woman in her 90’s who was picked up by a taxi driver to move her to a hospice care facility. She had only a few days left to live and had no living relatives to help her move. She was slow to make her way to the taxi, so the driver went to the door to check on her. He saw she needed some assistance and helped her to the car to transport her to the facility. She asked if he could take a longer drive to go through town so she could see this one last time. He did this and drove to other places as well. After a drive seeing a few of the city sights, they made their way to her facility. Upon arrival and handing her off to her new caretakers, she went to pay, and the taxi driver refused.
This was meaningful to me because I feel that many seniors these days are in the greatest need of a bit of kindness. Many live alone with limited help, and if they are immobile and tuned into what is on television today, particularly the news, they need a lot of positive love. Just a simple making the effort to open a door, help someone across the street, carry some of their belongings goes a long way. I personally witnessed this last week in my own town. Take a moment this coming week to help a senior and see how that makes you feel. I also saw this short video from a year ago that captures what I mean the best.
Taking A Moment For Maui
To close today’s Monday Morning Mojo, I have been trying to find any positive news coming out of the fires in Maui, Hawaii. I am sure there are many heroes among the responders, but at the moment, the images are depressing. If you have ever been to Maui, you will know how beautiful it is. This fire, caused by brush fires by a combination of low humidity and strong mountain winds, brought by Hurricane Dora, is now under control, but the damage has been huge, with nearly 100 deaths so far. The only small silver lining I can think of is the famous 150-year-old Banyan Tree that sat at the city center of Lahaina. Given the resiliency of Banyan Trees, the reports are that it has been torched, but it will survive. Here is a picture of Lisa and Jacquelin at this tree years ago, and a picture of the tree now. Perhaps now is a good time to take a moment and appreciate the surroundings we enjoy, because you don’t know if they will be forever.
Just a bit of randomness, nostalgia, and positive vibes for this week’s Monday Morning Mojo. Wishing you all a very good week ahead.