The yin and the yang

By Reade Brower | Mar 08, 2018

Watching the debate about the Second Amendment and gun rights is enough to make one want to drink; you legally can’t if you’re 20 (but you can buy a semiautomatic weapon); an example of a yin and a yang.

Listening to the left and the right argue the topic is depressing. A recent poll claimed 97 percent of Americans wanted stricter background checks, yet the powerful lobby of the NRA tells their political puppets “no,” so we stay status quo.

Now the middle from both sides is lashing out against the NRA, with multiple corporations pulling away from co-branding situations, distancing themselves as far as possible.

Can we bring the yins and the yangs together? While they bounce away from each other like the “crazy balls” we 60-year-olds played with as kids, our children and grandchildren are left puzzled as to why they can’t go to school without fear of being shot at by mentally disturbed individuals armed with assault weapons.

Breaking the yin and the yang down to its simplest element – integrity -- might be a start.

The recent Olympics saw the United States women take the gold in hockey; we then saw the ying and the yang when a Canadian hockey player took off her silver medal seconds after receiving it, in an overt display of poor sportsmanship. Later, gold medalist and American hero Hilary Knight was noticed missing from her team’s celebration. Right in the middle of her time of glory, Hilary, with her gold medal still snugly wrapped around her neck, had stopped to play pickup hockey with some young girls on one of the adjacent rinks at the Olympic stadium, remembering 20 years ago when she was a little girl in 1998, the last time that the U.S. women's team had captured gold. She had worshipped those female hockey players as her role models; realizing now how they had paved the way for her.

Not forgetting her roots or what brought her gold is important; it is grounding and allows one not to be swept away, and to stay in touch with the world.

Sports have lots of yin and yang moments; a "30-for-30" ESPN program last week that recapped the incredible 2004 miracle run when the Red Sox come back from a 3-to-0 deficit to beat the Yankees for the American League Championship in the seventh, winner-take-all game, had one.

During game six, in the late innings of the historic Curt Schilling bloody sock game, after Schilling had departed, the Yankees were clawing back into the game 4 to 2. That’s when A-Rod hit a ground ball and, while running to first base, knocked the ball out of the pitcher’s hand as the tag was applied while he was streaking down the first base line.

The video clearly showed A-Rod swatting the ball, but the call on the field was “safe,” with a run scoring, as A-Rod stood on second base clapping his hands. The umpires got together and reversed the call – correctly -- calling him out for interference. A-Rod was indignant, arguing and pantomiming that he was merely running down the first base line. The video was clear that A-Rod had swatted, but his behavior bore out a part of who he was as he stomped his feet, before reluctantly returning to the bench.

If that display of lack of integrity was the “yin”, the “yang” came last year when Maine runner Robert Gomez was streaking toward the finish of the prestigious Beach to Beacon 10K road race, closing in on the Maine leader, Jesse Orach.

Twenty yards from the finish, Orach, the lead runner from Maine, began to collapse as Gomez came up behind him. Instead of passing him and claiming victory, something in Gomez instinctively knew better. He came behind the runner and swooped him up, carrying him across the finish line, ahead of himself, dropping Orach softly on the grass just beyond the finish line, out of harm’s way. Content with doing the right thing and coming in second, Gomez then bowed over to catch his breath.

The difference between swatting and swooping is the “yin and the yang,” as was the difference between the Canadian pouting because she didn’t win and the American reaching out to others to share and teach.

Integrity and role modeling are what will move us forward. Bickering and investing ourselves in being right or winning at any cost is a highway to hell.

“The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given the chance, learn the right and best course by bitter experience.”

--- W.E.B. Du Bois, educator, civil rights activist, and writer (1868-1963)

 

Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 08, 2018 16:07

A great touch of pure humanity!



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Mar 08, 2018 07:20

"Integrity and role modeling are what will move us forward. Bickering and investing ourselves in being right or winning at any cost is a highway to hell."


Have seen the tone of "Village Soup" comments slowly changing. It is an encouragement to see more being part of the solution instead of the problem. It is not always easy.




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