Sunday, May 12, 2013


There are all kinds of courage. The kind that soldiers use to move toward battle, the kind firefighters use to go into a burning building. I saw a different kind this morning, from 12-year-old girls.

It was on a soccer field. Two teams from the same club, whose girls went to the same school, were playing well - the score was tied and time was running out. One team had a play on goal but as the goalie grabbed the ball one player did not get up from the ground.

She knew right away she had seriously hurt her leg. She was crying from the pain but otherwise calm and attentive to the caregivers - coach, orthopedist, and parents - who quickly rushed to her side. Both teams offered her encouragement and offered silent prayers as she was taken off to the hospital.

That was one kind of courage, the courage to face a serious personal injury.

But then there was yet one more kind of courage on that field that day. A third team made up of girls from the same school and the same club and a fourth team who had travelled a ways to get there had been witnesses to the entire sequence - the good play by both teams in the second half, the injury, and all the medical attention.

These two teams now took the field. And they showed the courage to play the game as it was meant to be played. They played with skill, they played with heart, they played hard but they played cleanly. They had the courage to come out and play the game as the girl who had been injured had played - well and fairly, and they had fun on the field.

To all four teams I tip my virtual hat. A lot of people around the world could take a lesson from these twelve-year-old girls.

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