Friday, January 15, 2010

Basketball and Pride

Last night the girls and I went to a local middle school to watch Cory play basketball. He has been playing on a city league and it has been a lot of fun to go to his games and watch him play. About 5 minutes before the end of the game, a guy on the other team fouled one of the guys on our team. I am not sure what all took place but I could tell that both of them were really upset. They got into each other's faces and started yelling. At this point, the referee and Cory were positioning themselves between them in order to break up what seemed to be an inevitable fist fight. Each of the players were escorted off of the court in order to calm themselves down on the sideline. Within a couple of minutes, everything was back to normal. They were both back in the game again and the playing continued until the buzzer sounded. At the end of the game, the teams joined in the middle of the court to shake hands and congratulate one another on a good game. As I was gathering up all of our coats, stuffed animals, purses, phones, shoes, bags, drinks, wrappers, etc, my attention was drawn to the middle of the court where the two men (who had acted like boys and came really close to throwing each other down) went up to one another with smiles on their faces, shook hands, patted backs, and walked off the court together as if they had just become the best of friends. I was totally mesmerized by this scene. For ten years, I have watched Cory play basketball, softball, football, and any other sport that includes a ball, and I still stand in shock and amazement each time that I have witnessed a similar scenario to the one described above. How do they do it? If it had been a bunch of women playing basketball, I can almost guarantee that is not how it would've ended. They would've been staring each other down and talking about how horrible the other girl was for days, maybe even longer. Right? Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that to girls it is all personal....on the basketball court or not. Why is that?

This morning I was listening to a talk about pride. And of course, in doing so, I realized how prideful I can be. I loved one of the lines in the talk. She said, "pride is not about thinking less of yourself, it is thinking less about yourself. Pride is such a horrible and destructive sin and it is also really hard to recognize in yourself. As I have been thinking about pride and all of its unwelcome appearances in my own life, I was thinking about ways to overcome it. What do you do? Obviously serving others is a big one, but I think that there are many other ways as well. Any thoughts or ideas?


Mandy said...

I have a problem with pride, so I know I can't give great advice. But, I have noticed that when I am alone and contemplate the mistakes I make and the things I could have said differently it helps me the next time something happens to remember that I am just as flawed as that other person, if not more so. I've tried to analyze what it is that gets my back up or sets me on a prideful path, and avoiding those feelings is mostly a matter of recognizing them as they start to peek into my thoughts and then reminding myself of something I've done recently that brings humility back into my heart. What would be great is if I could be in tune enough to think of my Savior during those selfish moments because he is the perfect example of humility.

Staceroo said...

Melissa, I love your blog because it always makes me ponder on what is truly important and keep things in perspective. I could practically count reading your blog as my "pondering time" after scripture study! :)

Anyhoo, about the pride thing. I always think that it is totally okay to think that you are awesome, just as long as you think that everyone else is awesome too! I also think that the best proactive way to combat pride without beating yourself up is through Charity towards others. Charity and Pride and Humility and all those are ofter abstract ideas to me that are hard to pinpoint in the moment. But my favorite quote on charity that gives practical advice on how to apply it is by Marvin J. Ashton. Sorry, it's kind of long, but totally worth it! Here goes:

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings, having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other."

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