Lessons Learned from the Little League World Series

In Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

It’s that time of the year when the Little League World Series of baseball is played in my hometown and this event has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  My dad was a Little League coach and my brother played Little League baseball.  They even managed to win the city championship one year.  I would attend every game that I could and always had such a great time.  My cousins, Bruce and Franklin, would come from out of town and stay at our house during the Series and we all had so much fun.  But it has taken me until now to realize what it is about this event that made it so wonderful and what the lessons were that I had learned so many years ago that are still part of this great event to this day.

What if we could all work together, focused on our common goal of providing the best product, whatever it may be, by working together and helping and supporting each other? And what if we could create a whole different atmosphere in our homes where we laughed together and played together and supported each other in all that we do?Barbara Jacoby

In the pre-game interviews with the team members, the players, one after another, indicated that what they would long remember from this experience was the fun they had, how much they enjoyed meeting and interacting with the players from the other teams and how happy they were to just play baseball. Unlike most other sporting events, during the game, there is no bad behavior, dirty play or efforts to undermine the members of the opposition. But, if a player does happen to misbehave in any way while on the field, he can be pretty sure that he will soon be finding himself a seat on the bench.

At the end of each of the games throughout the Series, the winning team members took a few minutes to be excited and jump up and down but then they all lined up and passed by the other team members, exchanging a gesture of sportsmanship with each other.  No one forgets that the only thing that matters is playing baseball and doing the best that you can.  The teamwork and camaraderie among the players of each team is a beautiful sight to behold.  Everyone supports one another and congratulates one another for their accomplishments.  And they lend lots of moral support to one another when things are not going so well.  And even with all of the pressure upon these kids to perform well, you will see lots of smiles throughout every single game and absolutely no negativity.

What if we could take this mentality into our workplaces and homes?  What if we could treat each other with such dignity and respect?  What if we could celebrate the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, other parts of our towns and countries and from all over the world?  What if we could go to work each day with the realization of how important what we do is to the team and the company and the community?  What if we could all work together, focused on our common goal of providing the best product, whatever it may be, by working together and helping and supporting each other?  And what if we could create a whole different atmosphere in our homes where we laughed together and played together and supported each other in all that we do?

I know that I learned all of these values a very long time ago in my own home and in my own hometown.  I am so grateful for those lessons and the understanding about from where they came.  And I also appreciate the reminder again this year while watching all of these kids.  They are the greatest testimony to what fair play, teamwork and mutual respect are all about in creating a wonderful life.   I just hope I can remember this long after the Little League World Championship has been decided.