What we can learn from Saint Peter’s wins, and Elite Eight loss (Opinion)
I don’t watch sports. The only time I ever get involved in sports is if there’s something happening that transcends sports — something that crosses over into pop culture territory that I’m going to need to talk about on the air. Or, that I want to be able to discuss with people at those smart cocktail parties that I never end up attending. I will watch sports purely for those reasons.
For example, I’ll take a casual glance at a Super Bowl game just to kinda get the drift. And I closely followed the Miracle on Ice Hockey story in the 1980 Olympics.
But for every “Little Engine That Could” allegory and every “David vs. Goliath” metaphor that we’ve heard out of the Saint Peter’s story during March Madness, the one thing that we will all take home with us is that anything can happen. Nothing about life is set in stone.
Now, for some people that brings a real anxiety. Because human beings being what they are, part of the human condition is that we do not like surprises. We like to feel that we can control things. But having faith — in Karma, energy, a higher power — puts an end to that onerous burden that people carry on the shoulders.
The debilitating feeling that “I have to somehow make this happen!” Or “I somehow need to stop this from happening!” and then you can’t.
It’s those people who think that enacting a law is going to save someone from getting hurt. For those people that look to control everything in their lives, the best thing that the Saint Peter's team has taught us is that many times we all have to just sit back and go with the flow.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught the opposite: If we SCRUB enough, if we MASK enough, if we DISTANCE enough, IF WE VACCINATE enough, we can MAKE THIS GO AWAY. And what did we learn? There are some things humans CANNOT control. The Saint Peter’s team teaches the same in a more positive way.
No one is doubting Sunday's loss to UNC was an embarrassing one, but not a single soul seriously expected them to get to this point, so they’ve already won.
You know the serenity prayer that the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous has made ubiquitous? Grant me serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the strength to change the things I can change and the wisdom to know the difference.
Sure, you have to do your due diligence in life. But there’s great serenity in relinquishing control: Surrendering to whatever it is you believe makes things happen: God, Nature, Karma, Energy, etc.
There’s an incredible feeling of freedom in distinguishing that which you can’t control, and letting life’s challenges just come, knowing that you’ll deal with them when they do.
If you’re downtrodden, feeling low, or even worse, if all the signs point to doom, try the opposite of control: Try sitting back. This scrappy team from Jersey City should teach you this: No one can change what is supposed to happen anyway.
And miracles happen.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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