This will be a mix of a personal post, so forgive me for that, but I promise, it does deal with Buffalo.
Sport is a beautiful thing, it really is. It bonds us to our neighbours, watching our teams struggle for a championship to bring to our great city, even tho it has never happened on a major league level in a major sport(As much as I love Bandits and lacrosse, it just is not one right now). But, you know what, while that builds a good common identity, it really isn’t what I want to talk about.
What I want to talk about is youth sport. Eventually, I shall have children, and the future of them being involved in sport is not a foregone conclusion, but a guarantee. Even if I am blessed with a special needs child(ren), then it will be even more important then, that they learn the lesson that sport bring. The lessons of team work, perseverance, dedication, and the need and benefit of social interaction, to see what it is like to put your own needs aside for the good of the common goal of the team, and that is what the most important lesson is from sport. Forget winning, forget losing, the combining of each part of us, no matter what type of person that they are, into the common good. (I promise, the Buffalo part is coming soon).
So, what does this all mean? While the majority of people who play youth sports never go on to play professionally, or even in college, or hell, not play in high school for some, the fact of that matter is, the lessons we learn from sport CAN, and SHOULD help us in adulthood. These lessons can be what saves and rebuilds our city, and making sure we are going to a singular common goal, to make Buffalo, New York, our city, the best possible place to live. Sound familiar? All of us, working together for a common goal, which is exactly how sport should, if done correctly, teaches us to be like.
We might think we have the best idea, and we should present it, but also realize that someone else might have a different idea, and that it might be better for all of us if we just gave up our plan, and follow the plans of others.
We also know how to treat other players, by following the rules of conduct and social norms, all of which can be, and are, taught through youth sports. The idea of sportsmanship, that people deserve to be treated with respect, and if we violate the dignity of a human being, no matter how different the person is from us, that there will be consequences for your actions, and you work against what the world is naturally like, and should be. Even though, most of the time, you fight and compete against another team striving for the same thing that you are, you recognize that they are in the same place that you are, and they want the same thing as you do, and it inspires ETHIC, the idea of being able to be dedicated to what needs to be done, in order to achieve success.
While no, we may never see a major league/sport championship here, the thing is, it does not even really matter. We have what really matters, a city filled with people that honestly care about our collective well-being, and all have plans for how to improve our standard of life, even if they do not always agree, we all are acting for the help of our city.
(I realize that not all people are like that, but the urban planners are, for the most part, like that. Also, I realize these lessons can be learned from outside sport, and I urge people to explore their interests outside of sport, and there are many good organizations for these things. I also apologize for the long post.)