Chicago Cubs the storied base ball team finally ended their drought and won the World Series in the Major League Baseball after 108 years! We have already written about the unique role of Mr. Theo Epstein. Last night the team won the final game in the 10th inning (in over time, one more than the standard 9 innings).
Epstein, then the Red Sox’s general manager, said fans have thanked him almost every day since 2004 for “what it meant to their family” and those who didn’t live long enough to see it happen recollecting his role in ending the 86 year drought in the same victory for the Boston Red Sox team.
“That really resonated,” he said last year. “More than anything else, that feeling influenced my decision to come to Chicago, because that was the one place in the world where you could experience something that meaningful again and play a small part in contributing to something that meaningful.”
Epstein arrived in Chicago in the fall of 2011 with the gargantuan task of rebuilding an organization that had tried everything imaginable. It took him five seasons, three managers and dozens of moves to get the job done, but he did it. The Cubs did it.
What does the above news and the quote has anything to do with our theme of Spirituality in Practice? Everything.
Let us dissect the above for a moment:
Sports events are activities with no tangible outcome that one can carry in their hands. Yes, there is a trophy and memorabilia of the win. But they are all representations of the event and accomplishment, but not the game itself which occurred over a defined period of time.
All our activities – good, bad, victory, defeat – are all like sports events! They occur over a defined period of time. Activities happen and morph into the intangible space. We merely see or feel them through some representation that we call as “Experience”.
Winning the WS after 108 years is an unique accomplishment for the team and its management. But the feeling, the excitement and a genuine sense of accomplishment of something unique is transcendental. The entire city of Chicago today celebrates this accomplishment today.
Life is full of such opportunities not realized till now. Some are longstanding like the drought in winning for the Chicago cubs. Some are less dramatic. Yet each is an opportunity to make something happen that resonates for a broader range of people within the family, nearby community or people as far and wide as the citizens of Chicago! Pursuing such opportunities merely because they could play a positive role in the lives of others is Spirituality in Practice.
Of course there will always be losers as well as winners in any sports activity. Cleveland Indians – the opposing team – deserved a win as much as the Cubs. Cleveland rejoiced in another celebration earlier this year when their team won the NBA Championship. Cleveland was as jubilant then as Chicago is today.
There are beneficiaries and others in any activity. One can not reject challenges because of this dichotomy. Engagement for the purpose of accomplishing something unique of value to a larger spectrum of beneficiaries can be the goal. This is distinct from merely making one team or group more and more successful.
As Mr. Epstein stated his move from Red Sox to work with the Cubs was “because that was the one place in the world where you could experience something that meaningful again and play a small part in contributing to something that meaningful.”
Constantly seeking out such opportunities that are meaningful to some one – other than the self – and endeavoring to make it happen may be an aspect of Spirituality in Practice?