Friday, May 31, 2013

Play or Pay

The other day the library sent me Phil Jackson's new book Eleven Rings. Outside of coaching two baseball teams, practicing with my sons, and taking care of life's other priorities I've had the opportunity to read twenty pages or so out of ER. This morning I was taken by this quote by Lao Tzu:

The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.
The best general
enters the mind of his enemy...
All of them embody
the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don't love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play

This is probably one of the biggest challenges I have noticed when I'm coaching, especially in tight games. The spirit of play (I don't know if play necessarily needs to be light) turns into a must-win situation. I don't think this is a bad thing. It's just an observation, I guess.

There is something deeper that I got from the Lao Tzu quote, though. As a culture we don't keep that spirit of play in mind when we engage The Community of Life. We annihilate our competitors in the biological community. If they're competing with our food and our food's food we are at war with them. And we're going to go extinct if we don't stop this.

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