I needed an escape the other night so I grabbed one of my boy's book and filled up the tub. The great thing about junior fiction is that it only takes a hour or so to finish a book and they are usually quite refreshing! In The Year Of The Boar And Jackie Robinson, by Bettte Bao Lord is the story of a young Chinese girl, who immigrated to the U.S. and found a sense of belonging through baseball. Her teacher Mrs Rappaport had this to say about the sport and her new home:
"In our national pastime, each player is a member of a team, but when he comes to bat, he stands alone. One man. Many opportunities. For no matter how far behind, how late in the game, he, by himself, can make a difference. He can change what has been. He can make it a new ball game.
"In the life of our nation, each man is a citizen of the United States, but he has the right to pursue his own happiness. For no matter what his race, religion or creed, be he pauper or president, he has the right to speak his mind, to live as he wishes within the law, to elect our officials and stand for office, to excel. To make a difference. To change what has been. To make a better America."
The main character, Shirley was so inspired by her teacher's speech. The author goes on to say "Shirley felt as if the walls of the classroom had vanished. In their stead was a frontier of doors to which she held the keys."
Each one of us holds a set of keys and there are doors that need unlocking. There in the tub with my pruney toes, I wondered if I am making the most of my turn at bat. I've always found comfort in the whole, in being part of the team. Standing out there all alone at the plate looks so scary. Mrs Rappaport inspired ME to see the opportunity and not the pressure. I'm on deck. Practicing my swing.
What will you do when it is your turn at bat? Do you believe that one individual can indeed make a difference?