My friend Molly's son Jackson breathes baseball. He spends hours in his back yard practicing his pitching, catching, and batting skills. He idolizes his softball-prodigy big sister and thinks the Bryce Howard can do no wrong.
Jackson and The Threshers had planned to win their Little League Championships, but The Storm had plans of their own and beat The Threshers in the semi-finals.
Jackson was despondent. His seven-year-old brain hadn't envisioned a scenario with less than a first place finish. At first Molly wished for away to take away his pain thinking if only The Threshers had won. But, then she saw the loss as a teachable moment and what followed was an extraordinary opportunity for Jackson to show more character than most adults would after suffering a loss.
Using baseball as an analogy, Molly reminded him that Bryce's Nationals hadn't made the World Series, and in fact, many great players would never play in a World Series, let alone win a ring. Jackson, who has as uncanny knack for knowing and understanding the stats of his favorite players, was able to recognize Bryce struck out more times than he hit the ball, and even the best hitters in the history of the sport failed to hit as often as they succeeded.
Even Molly couldn't have predicted what happened next. Jackson decided that The Storm played a better game and deserved to win. He wanted to cheer The Storm in the championships the next day. As if she wasn't proud enough, the next morning Jackson announced he wanted to bring cupcakes to his former rivals.
The Storm won and Jackson congratulated the team. His chest swelled with confidence when The Storm's coach acknowledged the good deed and praised Jackson's playing from the previous day.
Jackson learned more from losing that game than he ever would have had The Threshers won. He would not have had the opportunity to reach within himself to show such character. Molly was proud of Jackson, even though his team lost on Saturday, as most parents would have been. On Sunday her pride reached levels she never knew possible. On Wednesday, after the Presidential election, she wondered why her seven-year-old was a more graceful loser than many adults.
Good luck in 2013 Jackson and The Threshers! And more importantly have fun playing. Karma is definitely rooting for you.