Every Sunday, my father, brother, cousins, and I regularly play basketball in a court near our house.
Two months ago, my older brother told us that he was going to invite his classmates back in high school who were really good players. I was so pumped up to play against them.
However, when they weren’t able to play, we played against 14-year old kids who were still in high school instead. I was really disappointed.
Before the game started, I told my younger cousin, “Papawis lang tayo.” (Let’s play just to work out some sweat.)
We took them lightly. After all, they were almost half my age.
Suddenly, we found ourselves down by 25 points.
We didn’t respect our opponents. More importantly, we didn’t respect the game.
I thought that we could just flip the switch, overpower them, and take the lead because of our age and our experience. But, we couldn’t. I was far too deep in underestimating them and the game that I couldn’t get any flow in my game.
I sat on the bench thinking about what to do. It was just a ball game. I could have just let it pass. But, I didn’t like the feeling of not respecting the game and not respecting my opponents. Most of all, I didn’t like the feeling of not being able to give it my all.
When I got back on the court, I played with a different mentality. I played as if they were better than me. (Honestly, they are. They are varsity players in high school.) I gave them respect and I respected the game.
I gave it my all every possession. More importantly, I gave it my all every defensive turn. Without noticing it, the people keeping the score told me that we were already ahead by two.
Then, we won the game.
Other than a simple game of basketball, there are things in our lives that we are not giving respect to.
For one, there are times when we don’t respect the work that we do. We think that we could just take it easy one day and cram everything the other. That’s human nature. We overestimate ourselves and our abilities and underestimate the work that we do. That’s also not respecting the game called work.
There are also times when we don’t give the respect that life deserves. We take people and the moments in our lives for granted. Then, we just realize how far we have fallen in our relationships and in our connections. It’s like erasing a 25-point deficit in the fourth quarter of our lives.
There are also our environment and natural resources. Will we only realize how important they are when it’s too late?
Today, we have to decide to flip the switch. We have to decide to respect whatever it is we are doing. Only then can we make things in our lives and in the work that we do meaningful.
Only then can we appreciate every possession, every effort, every score, and every detail in this game called life.