"You just can't beat the person who won't give up."
– Babe Ruth
It's been one of those weeks. “Stunned” is the word I keep hearing. One of those stunning weeks, when we are filled with wonder and awe as we experience the power of people pulling together for a clear and worthy goal. We experience the miracles available to us when we refuse to give up on something that's worth everything to us or to those we care about. We experience examples of those who push beyond all the facts and realities of a situation to create greater realities and awesome outcomes.
On Thursday, our community was shocked to wake up to the news that an 11-year-old girl had gone missing in the middle of the night. Citizen volunteers, along with law enforcement, emergency crews and search and rescue teams automatically mobilized. Unified prayers were offered throughout the community.
Several hours later, members of the canine unit found the little girl in a ravine near her home, apparently non-responsive. Her parents received the very sad news that their daughter was found but that it was too late.
As prayers were being offered in the child's school, a stunning announcement was made. She was alive! Those working the scene miraculously detected a pulse, after she had been pronounced dead. Someone on the scene did not give up, even when the facts of the situation indicated there was no hope. We can only imagine the joy and gratitude her parents and siblings feel. Her mother described the family as feeling "blessed, truly blessed” and that the turnaround was “nothing short of a miracle."
And how 'bout those Cards? Things were looking pretty bleak for our beloved St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. A decisive fifth game between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cards were down six runs right off the bat. To most spectators, it looked like this game belonged to the Nats, and our hopes for another World Series Championship were to be dashed.
The Cardiac Cards apparently thought otherwise. A hit here, a run there, a home run or two, and the rest is now recorded in post-season history books. Down to their very last strike, the defiant Cardinals pulled together to pull off yet another victory, advancing them to the National League Championship series. According to Cardinals rookie manager, Mike Matheny, "Every inning, it seemed like the guys got more momentum. Every run just meant something more. It was just something you can't describe."
After the game, players talked calmly about their improbable victory as though the outcome was never in question. Team members kept each other pumped and primed, and when opportunities were presented, they were seized. The Cardinals did not give up, even when the facts of the situation indicated there was little hope.
What wonderful lessons for all of us this week. It is so easy to look at circumstances and see defeat in them. How many times do we let circumstances or appearances stall us out, keeping us from those things that we most want and cherish? How many times do we quit just moments before success materializes?
"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."
– Harriet B. Stowe
Your Coaching Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It:
Where in your work or life do you feel discouraged? And possibly ready to give up?
How might you better relate to the inevitable failures along the way? Who might you become when defeat is not an option?
"Never give up, and never, under any circumstances, face the facts."
– Ruth Gordon