Acts of kindness come back in ways unimagined
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” -Princess Diana
One of the most powerful gifts you have is the power to make an impact on someone's day, leaving a lasting impression that can affect not only their life, but yours. It was through giving that I found more joy and friendship than any one person could ask for. As most of you know I have been working towards helping a friend Coach Joni Frei, Director of Coaching, Softball British Columbia and Head Coach for the Ugandan National Softball Team in her quest to bring the Ugandan Pearls to Surrey Canada for the WBSC XV Women's World Softball Championships.
Since my book launch of "More than a Game" I have been supporting different things with the proceeds. Because I do believe we can all make a difference in the lives of others when we care enough to try. So off I went, selling the book, speaking to people and networking with anyone I could to get the word out. Finally, I could see the impact and was not only able to help get the team to Canada, but to get myself there as well so that I could meet them.
What I did not realize that by helping them meet their goal to attend the games, they helped me so much more. They gave me joy. They gave me appreciation of opportunities that I could sometimes easily take for granted. It was through their losses that I discovered Joy.
By any comparison, when I lose a game I would get down on myself trying to evaluate every play in the game and determine the weak moments in the game that we needed to improve on. But the difference was that I focused on "the moments" that hurt the game, not in the joy of playing my best and coming in second in the game. Coach Joni Frei said that a lot. It was not a loss, we just came in second. What an awesome way to look at a well fought game.
The Uganda Pearls, started every game in prayer. Every game in song....and ended every game with song and dance and gratitude for those coaching, watching and cheering them on. So what I learned from this team was against all odds they were there playing in the games and soaking in the experience. It was an honor to be a part of their journey. What they gave me in return was a genuine love and appreciation of the game, in people much deeper than I thought was possible.
Well sponsored teams were sharing, purchasing and helping those teams with little equipment, with their own funds making sure they could play. There were teams that had never even owned a pair of cleats. As a teenager it was a lesson in compassion, that looked beyond who and where you came from. It was compassion from one heart to the other. And from the heart...there is no difference.