It’s been nearly two decades since Division Ave High School and Macarthur High School’s varsity boys baseball teams were in competition in the same division. So it wasn’t surprising that every inch of the bleachers were filled with Levittowners of all ages, ready to cheer the teams on in the playoffs.
It was a beautiful breezy afternoon and the teams were certainly evenly matched. I’m not going to report the final score here, because what I experienced wasn’t that one team won, and the other lost, but that Levittown won. The fans—both young and old—were enthusiastic and positive. One expects enthusiasm, but positivity is a rare commodity in so many areas of our society today, whether it’s the political arena or online postings.
Over the years, I’ve been to sporting events between fourth graders where crazed parents shout out fevered insults toward refs or toward the opposing team, sometimes even belittling their own child if he or she doesn’t perform as desired. But on a sunny May Tuesday under a blue Levittown sky, there was none of that unpleasantness.
There was a lot of “that’s my boy” pride in evidence, but whether the son swung and struck out or connected for a base hit, it was all good and I sensed that even parents and grandparents of the opposing players were enjoying seeing all our kids play good baseball. I wonder what it would have taken to ruin this. Perhaps a nasty comment would have set off retaliation. But nothing like that happened.
So it’s a good lesson for other aspects of our lives to keep the negative thoughts away from ourselves. Let’s continue to appreciate what is good and noble in others around us, even though they might be on “opposing teams.” And definitely don’t be the one to ruin what little civility is out there by starting an insult or negative comment.