Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Athletes Who Care: Positive Stories

The Six Pillars of Character is a program that emphasizes six core ethical values that guide our choices.  From time to time, I will share some thoughts and examples, of how areas of those character traits can be, and have been, shared in every day life, and in competition.  Victory without integrity is hollow and really means nothing.

I would encourage you to look for ways to show at least one area of the Six Pillars of Character every day as compete in practice against teammates, in competition with other schools, or going about your daily routine.  No matter what, Every Day, Character Counts.

Here's some examples of Pillar #5, Caring, in action:

Matt Hoffman
Hoffman, a football player at Rowan University, gave up the end of his junior season of football to donate his bone stem cells to a complete stranger suffering from cancer.  "It's a football game.  They come and go," Hoffman told CBS.  "You have a man's life.  It was very easy for me to choose."

Students of the Dallas Independent School District and Jared Williams
In 2009, 14 year old Jared Williams was paralyzed during a high school football game.  Shortly after the accident, Williams' teammates and other students at Dallas ISD began a fundraising campaign called Project 24.  They calculated that, if everyone in the district donated 24 cents, they could make Williams' home handicap accessible.  Instead, they raised enough money to pay for an entirely new home.  Despite his daily struggle to regain movement in his body, Williams also gives back. When another Dallas area football player was paralyzed this season, "Williams and his mother were the first to visit him in the hospital the next morning."

Lionel Messi
One of the world's greatest soccer players, Barcelona FC's Lionel Messi took time to meet Jordyn Farrell, 16, who has had cancer twice.  Through the Craig Willinger Fund, which raises money to send soccer fans with cancer to games and tournaments all over the world, Jordyn and her father went to Barcelona and watched Messi score two goals against Villareal.  After the game, Jordyn met several Barcelona players, and then, at 2 a.m., she got to meet Messi.  He signed her jersey and took a picture with her.  Nick Farrell, Jordyn's father, said, "Messi was amazing...He was really genuine about it when he came over.  [Jordyn] told me she's never going to wash that jersey again."

Sometimes, most of the time, it just takes a little time and effort to make a positive impact.  Look for ways to put forth that effort.  You'll make a difference.


Examples from josephsoninstitute.org

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