As I try to cross barriers and develop relationships at the basketball court, I realize that there are some differences that I can not change. For example, I have a different skin color than some. I have a tanned white skin color, others have a brown or even a black skin color. I can do little to change that. I have lived 48 years; others that I have met at the court have lived only 14 or 16 or 22 or whatever number of years. I cannot change those differences, yet I want to cross the barriers that separate us. So, how do you do that?
I can't change my skin color, but I could add a tattoo here or there. I am not sure if I desire to do that or need to do that. Do you think it would help cross the barriers that exist? Maybe, if I swore and cursed I would fit in, but would I really be accepted if I did? It's something I could change, but would it really cross any barriers?
I have come to realize that my style of play of basketball is also making me different. I had a young man ask me, "Why do you play so hard?" I answered, "I enjoy basketball." I can't imagine just doing something half-heartedly. Should I walk up and down the court and not run? Should I not play defense? Should I not try to grab the rebound? Being able to play hard is part of the fun of the game. This young man is telling me by his question he does not play hard. Why play then? He must not mind not trying. So, should I cross the barrier and not try hard like some other guys? Or, should I remain different?
By the same token, some play very selfishly; they will keep the ball for themselves and never pass. I could do the same thing, and fit right in with the guys. However, I think a good pass is just as exciting as making a shot. Plus, good teamwork leads to victory. I have had some people tell me though, why didn't you shoot? I haven't really had the need or the time to answer, but I usually passed it to a person wide open near the basket. I value teamwork, so at the expense of my own scoring, I pass. That makes me different though. Yet, in this case, I also believe my passing helps cross those barriers with some people, even though it is a different way of playing compared to many.
How do you cross barriers? What things do you do to fit in to cross barriers? What differences do you accept and don't worry about even as you try to cross barriers? Anyone have answers?
There seems to be just a couple things connecting us at the moment: our love for basketball, our gender- males, and my attempt to respect and value each person. Some also have done that with me