Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11 and the Role of Sports in Our Society

On this day of remembrance, I will break away from my normal emphasis of baseball and focus on more important things.
Today, of course, is the anniversary of tragic events of 9/11.  I have memories of where I was at the time and the coverage of the horrific acts.  I personally don't know of any victims or their loved ones and it would be selfish of me of not honoring and be thinking of these people.  So, I give you my thoughts and prayers to those who lost loved ones and hope you all have love and support from many on this day and every other day.  I also would like to thank the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the time of need of others and the ones who continue to help make the streets safer.

In the days, weeks and months after 9/11, sports played a big role in the healing of America.  It allowed us  to have a diversion and forget about the problems of the world, even if for only a couple hours.  Lets not forget this is the role of sports in our society.   Far too often, sports seem to have far more importance to many people.   Lives are perceived to be determined by wins and losses and some cases, sadly it has.
Lets focus why sports are here.  It is a diversion from not only tragedies but from our daily lives.   We all have pressures at work in meeting deadlines and quotas.  Have overbearing bosses and annoying coworkers. Sports allows us to forget about those things for awhile. Whether it is going to games, getting to get together with friends and family to watch games or play ourselves.  If we didn't have these avenues of enjoyment,  we all would get too stressed and go crazy.

The athletes in many cases, seem to have too much of the "me me" mentality.  They are given the hero status and idolized by millions.  They are placed in this unique situation of being in the public eye and are role models, whether they like it or not.  I believe it is their duty to give back to society in any way they can.  It can be done by donated time, money and their voice.  Schools, churches and hospitals can be helped.  Awareness towards diseases, illnesses and addictions can be brought foward.  Or can just be an inspiration to the youth for a brighter future.
Speaking of youth, sports can be used as an avenue for a better future.  Kids growing up in a rough neighborhood could use sports to get away from gangs and violence.  It may allow some to get a college education where otherwise it would not possible.  Youngsters also learn about teamwork, discipline and a healthier lifestyle through athletics.

I know this is quite idealistic and far too many people take advantage of others for personal gain.  But, on this day, lets put sports in perspective.  Remember who the true heroes are and honor them.   Use sports as intended, to better our lives and others.  If we all do this, even if for just one day, the world be a bit better place.

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