We just got back from a long, but fun, Disney baseball tournament. Teams were from across the US and other countries, as well, which added an element of excitement. I suppose one opposing team is very similar to the next, except for the uniform. Each team approaches the dugout to stake out their space, they battle it out on the field with bat and glove and then they shake hands and say "good game."
We played one team, though, that seemed quite different.
Our game was to start at 8am so we were at the field around 7am to warm up; I mean warm up even more...it was already about 90 degrees high humidity at that time!!!! The Dominican Republic team we were to play was nowhere to be seen. As the National Anthem started, we saw a team run onto the field from the far end, stop to throw their gear down and stand in the direction of the flag. It was 4 minutes to game time. The kids ran to get on the field as the coach struggled to produce his lineup with a minute to spare. I never did find out if they thought they played later or if they had been at the wrong field or if they were simply late.
The only apparent differences between our team and theirs was the language barrier and the fact that they wore long sleeves in the enveloping heat to protect them from the sun. We won that game 16-1. But let me tell you something about these kids. They were the only team to ask us to take a picture with them, which was so amazing. And, despite their loss, they gave each of our players a gift from their country. (We hadn't thought this far ahead but, thankfully, one of our moms ran out and bought them all Disney pins!)
Madisyn Taylor writes, "When we really begin to look at the boundaries we see as so solid, they prove to be, in fact, quite porous. ...false notion that we are separate and isolated parts in a world filled with other separate, isolated parts. In truth, we can no more be separate from our world than a fish can be separate from the water in which it swims."
We are all one and the same. We are all part of another. We are all connected.
"While driving home from a family trip, I thought about the other cars on the highway. The cars were filled with strangers leading lives that were independent yet parallel to my own. When did towns become so large that it became commonplace to be surrounded by strangers? Strangers at the store. Strangers on the street. How many strangers would be friends if we could meet? " Peaceful Daily May 14, 14 Everyone is a Part of Us
I met some "strangers" from Texas in the Disney resort laundry room, although once I met them they were no longer strangers, were they? They asked if our team had brought pins to trade. I laughed and said no, we were all just lucky enough to get packed in time and make it down there! They left soon after and returned to give me one of their team's pins; I hugged the "strangers".
The Waze app reminds me of this interconnectivity. It is a GPS type app that allows you to interact with other users you are passing on the road. Cars that you blindly pass become friendly travelers as they post where accidents are, where police have been spotted and more.
"Kindness sees the depth of our sameness. Wisdom sees our essential diversity. Smile through both an easy encounter and a difficult encounter. Make a decision to spread peace wherever you can. No one can be left behind when we recognize that everyone is an integral part of the whole. Can you see the essential unity that is the blessing of our story? Everyone is a part of us. " Peaceful Daily
Of course, it is only appropriate that I conclude with a Walt Disney quote:
“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew." - Pocahontas”