The Hit Batter and the Shaken Pitcher
The bad breaks we catch here and there at the hands of someone else are very rarely personal — and flying into a fit of rage over a mistake someone else may feel terrible about does little to help anyone.
It’s one of the scariest sights in sports: A baseball player getting drilled in the head with a fastball.
After getting hit in the head with a pitch, this little leaguer showed a true act of sportsmanship by comforting the pitcher 🥲
— ESPN (@espn)
Aug 9, 2022
It frequently leads to teams shouting at each other and sometimes even a fight.
But when a young player was hit in the helmet at the Little League Baseball World Series recently, what transpired next wasn’t profanities or punches but a hug and a couple of powerful words.
“You’re doing just great," the batter told the visibly-distraught pitcher.
It was a remarkable display of sportsmanship that's garnered lots of attention in recent days — but it also has some key lessons.
When we suffer a misfortune or get shortchanged in some capacity, we often grow irate at the source. We blame a boss, a referee, the competition or anyone else who has made our life more difficult. We may even view him/her as some sort of enemy in need of retribution.
But the reality is that the bad breaks we catch here and there at the hands of someone else are very rarely personal — and flying into a fit of rage over a mistake someone else may feel terrible about does little to help anyone.
The hardest thing to do is often the right thing — and very rarely do we regret forgiving someone for a mistake in the long term.
Empathy may not fix every challenge in front of us, but a little of it can go a long way toward making life easier — and the ability to exhibit it under duress can distinguish us from so many others.
As we return to the office, the field, the classroom in the weeks ahead, let’s reflect on this video and try to return to our own levels of innocence the way these two competitors did.
Instead of getting mad, growing impatient or ignoring someone struggling around us, we might want to try uttering our own version of “You’re doing just great.”
The results could be surprising for the other person — and ourselves.