It was once said of Vince Lombardi: "He possesses minimal football knowledge and lacks motivation." Lombardi would later write, "It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up."
According to Wikipedia, "He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. Lombardi is considered by many to be the greatest coach in football history."
I’ve written about it before that I actually met Mr. Lombardi’s granddaughter while I was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force base. A few days after I processed into the squadron, a fellow airman asked me if I had met Airman First Class Lombardi and I replied “No.” He went on to describe her as a snooty-tootie who loved to throw that amazing pedigree around and like the idiot I sometimes was, I bought into it. Well, it turned out to be true to a certain extent and sure enough, the second sentence out of her mouth after she boastfully introduced herself as “I am Vince Lombardi’s niece.”
The next sentence out of my mouth, I regret to this day with no possible way to make it right and it was rude and profane and something along the lines of I had no idea who that person was. Now, she was very cute, with a pixie blond hair-do and possibly, if I had been properly amazed, I might have dated her, but that is beside the point. Needless to say, I don’t believe we ever talked again.
I knew danged well who the great coach was and I let some dimwit Airman prep me to be obnoxious. Thinking back, if I wouldn’t of had that first conversation, the second would have went something along the lines of, “Cool! That’s amazing!” and I wouldn’t regret that stupid sentence.
Again looking back over my life I want to try and make up for some of these blunders and social mistakes I’ve committed and that brings me to the real gist of this column – doing good and righteous acts. It is a brand new year and I guess this could be considered a resolution, but I’m going to call it a challenge instead. For starters, I donated blood on January 2nd and double-red blood cells at that. I have a rare antigen in my blood called CMV- and my blood often is used the same day I donate. It goes to babies and people with a challenged immune system, so big points for me on the good scale, right?
My personal challenge for 2017 is to once a week commit a totally unselfish act that makes a positive impact on mankind in general. Now I am not talking about holding a door at Macy’s, as I already do that kind of stuff. I’m thinking bigger, like paying for someone’s order in the line behind you, or having flowers delivered to someone who is depressed.
At an indoor cycling spin class I taught in Meyerland on Wednesday, I challenged the class to do this very thing and I will continue this practice every time I instruct a class for the rest of the year. Like the boy in the movie Pay it Forward, I realize if I can enlist help, it could make a real difference in those around us. Exercise your body and enrich your life by promoting mental and physical well being, right? That’s the idea anyway.
When I say bigger things, I don’t mean they have to be, as DT says, “Huuuuge!” It just needs to have an impact on the person who receives it. A measure of this is if they get your “gift” in the morning, they are still basking in it later in the day. It could be a 2 dollar tip to the lady in the 15 items or less check-out who makes 8 bucks an hour for her thankless job. She goes home everyday and her feet hurt. You helped her make 10 dollars for that hour and she remembers it and tells her husband.
I have some inexpensive cotton gloves and the other day when we had a cold snap, it was also garbage day. I noticed one guy had no gloves and the other had a pair that had seen better days. I gave them both a pair and they called me sir and thanked me. I like to bring bottles of water to them in the heat of summer too, so it is these little things that truly make the difference in a person’s day.
What say you? You want to join me in making a better world?