As SJ started his senior year this past week, Michael had his first preseason game, and Collins had us all doing ten different things in four different directions, I was thinking about the events of the summer. Some made me laugh; many made me realize there is work to be done in several areas and so on and so forth.
One that made me laugh out loud was the day I received a call from a friend of mine who lives in Oxford Mississippi. She said to me, “If I didn’t know better, I thought I just saw your son pushing a broken down car up the street.” I immediately texted Michael and said,”Did your car break down?” A few minutes later he texted me back and said, “No, a friend of mine’s car broke down and I was giving him a push.” I immediately responded, “How very nice of you.” To which he quickly replied, “Well it might be, but it’s not a good look for me.” I just laughed out loud! As I was reliving this moment, I found myself beaming as Michael did not let pride get in the way of helping his friend. It obviously humiliated Michael that he was pushing the friend’s car, yet he knew that was the right thing to do.
Sean had a similar experience with Michael at one of his All-American events. There had been a big press line, lots of photos, hot lights and tons of questions being asked. Sean asked Michael would he like some water. He said, “Yes, that would be great.” As Sean started to walk off, another All American recipient spoke up (If you promise not to tell anyone who it was, I’ll tell you-it was Michael Crabtree). He said, Hey mister, will you bring me water with lemon and when you are in the kitchen can you ask what time you guys are serving dinner?” Obviously, he thought Sean was part of the waite staff as opposed to Michael Oher’s father. Michael looked at him and said, “Fool, that’s my Dad.” I don’t even have to paint the picture for you; one can only imagine what ensued from that point. However, Sean had happily gone to check on dinner and get water with lemon for both boys. He didn’t let his pride get in the way of doing the right thing.
We never need to get so full of ourselves that we lose sight of the fact that we are all on the same team in this journey called life. My hope for you is that you walk in humility and that you never think that you are so important that you can’t help others. We can really make a difference if we are willing to put others needs ahead of our own, regardless of the “image” it creates for us. People need to see value and integrity in our actions. The way you treat those around you, hopefully, will never be tainted by prejudice. Therefore, be slow to judge the next person you see pushing a car or delivering that glass of water as your reference points might be inaccurate!
Learn to be fearless in the face of need, be generous, and be compassionate, and don’t let your actions be shaped by what someone’s opinion of you might be because we are all in this together. Our success as a society just might depend on it!
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