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We attended the championship for central Texas tee-ball All Star teams a couple of weeks ago in Georgetown. This isn’t the Little League you and I played in, it’s more like the College World Series. Lots of beautiful colors, fancy uniforms, sophisticated bat bags, world-class helmets, banners on the fences, tee shirts and rally towels. These people are serious…

The parents were all hyped and excited for their kids and perhaps themselves, but mostly they were excited for their kids and all the hard work and practice that had gone into this moment. You can tell they love this kids, would do anything for them, including spending lots of money on tee-ball.

But, I was standing there with a friend I’ve known for many years that’s a college baseball coach talking about the environment and the competitive energy that you could just feel and he was concerned. I used to be a high school and college baseball coach and it worries me that we may be teaching our kids to be a little too much like us. So, there you had two baseball professionals, well one really. And, we both agreed we could stand about 1 game a year. There are solutions, practical solutions like making the parents sit beyond the outfield fences, although I guess they would just scream louder. But, my problem is really not with the parents…

We are a product of our culture. We are taught to win, to compete, to conquer from our parents and they from theirs…it is the American way and is part of what makes this such an incredible, powerful nation. Like I’ve said before, I believe in capitalism and the American way, just not to the degree that we’ve achieved. My problem is with our warped sense of what it means to teach our children what it is like to live in community with each other.

In other words, teaching them about team concepts and sacrifice for others are some of the most important lessons we can teach our kids. I just wish we could learn to teach them these concepts with a kind heart and with wisdom that understands we are better, stronger, more capable when we work together as a community seeking the good of the body even at the expense of our own desires.

I read an article in Fortune magazine the other day and a story about a Marine who compared his experiences in business school with his life as a soldier. The most valuable difference between the two worlds was learning that as a Marine cooperation was a matter of life and death. It became instinctive to help his friends to accomplish a task. In the business world we learn to look out for number 1 before others and that I believe translates into how we interact with our children and within our communities. That is my problem.

If we can teach Marines to love each other and be willing to sacrifice themselves even unto death, why can’t we understand that our children must be taught these lessons?

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. —Hebrews 10:23-25

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