Sunday, August 19, 2007

In adversity we know our friends...

“In prosperity our friends know us,in adversity we know our friends.” -- J. Churton Collins

When difficulty hits hard, who is your friend? *“I was honored and revered during my years as one of baseball’s elite. I was known as the “Sultan of Swat”. I hit a total of 714 regular-season home runs during my professional career and built a mythical reputation from many championship games.

In my last years, however, people expected to see me perform as a raw, talented rookie. Perhaps I stayed one too many seasons, and should have retired, but the need for money and the desire to squeeze one more good season out of my body kept me going. It was said that in my final year as a pro, it was an embarrassment to watch me.

It all came to a head one day after I committed some costly errors that hurt my team, amounting to some decisive runs in favor of the opponents. The home team supporters reached their limit. As I headed toward the dugout after the third out of the inning, fans began mercilessly taunting and booing, humiliating me. Forgotten were the days when I had been the catalyst for so many championship years.”

They say that the world’s smile is more dangerous than its frown. We live in a world where baseball fans forget their champions. I’m not a baseball fan at all, but this monologue produces in me an emotive response. We do not invite adversity. It comes unsolicited and no one is immune to it. Babe Ruth had to come to terms with how conditionally the world responds even to its heroes. Babe reached his moment of helplessness and grief.

This raises a few questions: What do we do when the world turns its back on us? When difficulties hit hard, what keeps us going?

-- TR

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