May not seem obvious, but another New Year reflection...a post I wrote in July, 2006...
The major league all-star game was held in Pittsburgh tonight and fittingly, Roberto Clemente was honored. Clemente, one of my boyhood heroes, played for the Pirates from the mid 50's until 1972. He died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve, 1972 while taking supplies to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Clemente was a great player, a hero both on and off the field. He was known for playing the game of baseball with a great passion that could only be matched by his unrelenting commitment to making a difference in the lives of those in need.
I grew up a Pirates fan and remember countless nights lying in bed listening to Bob Prince and Nellie King announce the Pirate games on the radio. My favorites were Clemente, Bill Mazeroski (who escorted Vera Clemente onto the field to receive tonight's award), and Willie Stargell. I was 14 when Clemente died, and will always remember the moment when I learned of his death. I had a paper route at that time, and had decided to deliver the New Year's Day papers before I went to bed so I wouldn't have to get up early to deliver them the next morning. The truck dropped off my bundle of papers around 1 am and there was the headline: Clemente Plane Missing. The next day the news was confirmed; we had lost a hero.
In 1973 baseball began awarding the annual Roberto Clemente award to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. Tonight baseball remembered a true hero.
As lists and resolutions abound at this time of year I choose to reflect on 2 sets of life guidelines from authors that have been influential in my life - Robert Fulghum and Max Lucado...
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
– Love God more than you fear hell.
_ Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
– Make major decisions in a cemetery.
– When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
– Succeed at home first.
– Don’t spend tomorrow’s money today.
– Pray twice as much as you fret.
– Listen twice as much as you speak.
– Only harbor a grudge when God does.
– Never outgrow your love of sunsets.
– Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
– ‘Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of scrutiny.
– God has forgiven you; you’d be wise to do the same.
– When you can’t trace God’s hand, trust his heart.
– Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
– Don’t feel guilty for God’s goodness.
– The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
– Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
– Live your liturgy.
To sum it all up:
Approach life like a voyage on a schooner. Enjoy the view. Explore the vessel. Make friends with the captain. Fish a little. And then get off when you get home.
-- Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm