Happy Sunday Educators. Today has been a particular sobering day with the news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, along with his daughter Gianna, her teammate and the parents. At 41, it seems too soon to lose such a legendary player. Let me be the first to say that I am not a die-hard basketball fan. I haven’t watched basketball closely for quite some time so I would be the last to rattle off stats and let you know of the strengths and weaknesses of players. I don’t study the game nor the players. I’m a former Michael Jordan fan who had all the posters that once came in the Wheaties boxes back in the day. In my mind, no new player could ever even come close to what Jordan was able to accomplish on the court. Then, along came this young guy named Kobe and defied everyone's expectations.
Even with my limited scope of reference, I know a few things about him. For one, you will find very few who played with such passion and commitment to the sport and to being the absolute best at his craft. When he played, he did so with a dedication to showing up fully and leaving it all on the court. He played in the moment always…full on…as if there was no other game on the schedule. I’m sure there were times when he didn’t feel like it or fell short but what we had the privilege to watch was his commitment to the present moment. In his life, it didn’t appear that he waited or hesitated until the best situation was crafted. He just went out, did his part...and the situation crafted itself.
Once you know what it is in life that you want to do, then the world basically becomes your library. Everything you view, you can view from that perspective, which makes everything a learning asset for you. - Kobe Bryant
So…let’s figure out where we are. Are we living fully in the moment or do we spend most of our time either perseverating over the past and its misgivings? Are we planning for or fearing a future we may never see? As long we are reminiscing or planning…we are snatching moments that can literally shift us into deeper and more meaningful living. Where do you stand with all of this? Are you a past contemplator, a future planner, or a seize the day person? If you do anything but seize the day, let’s consider this question...if you knew that 2020 was your last year left in this life, what would you ensure you did? How would you live each day? How would you show up on a consistent basis? Whatever answer you came up with, I’d like to challenge you as I am challenging myself, to run to make this reality happen. The world really does need us to show up full on. It really does need our passion, our gift, the sheer energy of the joy we get when we’ve tapped into what we were born to do. We have no idea how many stand to benefit when we shed the dead weight of the past and future and flow with the simplicity and power of the present.
The most important thing, the thing that unites all of us is that we can inspire and challenge one another to be better. - Kobe Bryant
Although Kobe is no longer with us in the flesh, he has inspired me to push even more heavily into my passion and space of influence. He has reminded me that my days are not promised and to live as if I am aware of that reality. He pushes me to do whatever I can to let go of what drains me, such as misaligned commitments or partnerships, and to make space for passion and the mastery of it. Let’s make this the year that our intentions are realized. The time is now. Let’s embrace it and truly leave it all on the court of life.
In Solidarity and Love,