Football is about the only professional/college sport I will watch, and I could probably count the number of players I know in the league on two hands or less. I have “my teams” that I’ve always been a fan of, but even those I couldn’t spout out many facts.
Kobe Bryant is definitely a name I knew, just not one that I follow. I wouldn’t claim to be a “fan.” So why did I, and millions across the nation, mourn so heavily over his recent death and that of eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna?
Because I looked at my own husband and two young daughters and couldn’t imagine them suddenly being taken from my life. The heart-wrenching hurt I felt from just the thought doesn’t even compare to the hurt Kobe’s wife Vanessa, and their three other daughters are enduring or of the many families who lost that day.
Because he is a legend, a great man by definition on many accounts, and he marked the world with the Mamba mentality. Family was a high priority, he played with pure heart and love of the game, and he took his talents and finances to positively impact the community through such things as the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation and Mamba Sports Academy among many others.
This incredible man suffered a tragedy through an untimely death. His life and the lives of eight others on that helicopter were cut too short. But he left a legacy behind, a standard of living that we can’t disregard even in our time of misunderstanding and confusion.
It’s not a matter of bad things happening to good people, but THINGS just happening to people, and we are all people with no guarantee on life expectancy. So don’t just hold your loved ones close, but pick your battles, and choose how you’re going to live your life.
In moments when we are frustrated, could we take a step back and see if it’s worth stealing any second of our joy? In moments of loss and grieving, can we step back and celebrate all that that life offers? Or in times of disappointment or feeling defeated, can we step back to recognize accomplishments that got us where we are now and continue to move forward from there?
Tragedies like this, I believe, happen to remind us to always look at what we do have and appreciate all of it. To help set our eyes on roads less traveled in a world that can be so corrupt and teach us that we’re all human with the same 24 hours in every day. Are you making those hours amount to something, or are they wasting away?
“[It’s] all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most.” -Kobe Bryant