Yep, mixed basketball and baseball analogy here.

Whoddathunkit? Those who know me would say it fits.  I love both sports and I grew up watching The Great One, Roberto Clemente, play. My first inspirational hero in life, Clemente was a great humanitarian as well as a great ballplayer–one whose life was cut short following a fatal plane crash that carried him and emergency supplies to victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake in 1972. He had a nasty curve ball thrown his way.

We all get curve balls pitched our way. Just part of the human condition, unfortunately.

St Paul said, “All things work together for good.”  But as a wise mentor once told me, “He didn’t say all things were good, Alison.” For all things are not good. There are wars. Diseases.  Murders. Prejudice and hatred.  There is class warfare. Inequity. Poverty. Despair. Nations are divided. Families are divided. The list goes on and on and on.

So how can these things possibly work together for good for those who love God? And by God I merely mean, universal love—I am not restricting this title to the Christian God or a Muslim God or a Jewish God, or any other God for that matter. I am referring to what I consider God, universal light and love, the Way home to interconnectiveness and love.

So how can bad things work toward good? Or is this merely a myth spouted by philosophers and theologians current and of ages past?

In my humble view, I think tragedy can work toward a future good.

I think it can pave the way to a new approach, a new understanding, a better compassion and greater humanity. For  if you are to successfully recover from one of life’s curve balls or worse a wild pitch that beams you in the head, then you’d better think outside of the box, and that doesn’t  just pertain to the batter’s box. It pertains to thinking outside of your current box that holds your absolutes as to all that you hold and know as truth.

Because once hit with a curve or a wild pitch, then you realize that life is not a cookie cutter, easy-peasy cakewalk. Life happens and experiences happen, ones that are meant to make us question, think, learn and progress. And what happens in life, to us, isn’t always good.

Bad things do happen.  To all of us.  It’s part of the human equation. How we deal with those bad things is what defines our character.

We can curl up in a ball and shut out the world, cry shouts or defame it, or we can take the experience and use it as a means to try to help others, to effect necessary change in the system and world.

We can choose the path that Magic Johnson did. When he learned, he had contracted AIDS; he didn’t retreat from the world in pity. He created the Magic Johnson Aids Foundation. Or Marc Klaas, who founded the KlaasKids Foundation and BeyondMissing, Inc. after his 12-year-old daughter was kidnapped and murdered.  Or Candace Lynne Lightner, who founded MADD after her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver.

None of the above instances each individual faces/faced is good.  But what they did with their pain and grief transformed a tragedy into something that is doing good for others.

They took a curve ball and in some instances a wild pitch with devastating results and rebounded in such a way that they created something new, something that propelled mankind into unchartered territory, into something that while it cannot erase their personal pain, it can prevent others from living that exact pain.

As such they are role models that we all should aspire to achieve.

For  if we are wise, we realize that we need to rebound from the traumatic experience, and find a way to not only run down the court but maintain a full-press that results in a sinking basket and a winning point—maybe not for us personally, but most certainly for humankind as a whole.


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