If you have missed the story of Jason McElwain, take a minute to watch this short video about this amazing young man. Warning…Kleenex alert ahead…..
I could just stop right there. Say THE END. There is plenty of inspiration to the story without adding a single word. It is really very remarkable and heart-warming. But something really struck me about this story that didn’t stand out right away with all the *Rockyness* and miracle of it.
The fact that J-Mac as they called him, was even there is an amazing thing. How many of us, how many kids, after being turned away, after failing to make the team, year after year, only being 5’6, let alone being autistic, would have stuck that out in this instant pudding world of give me my glory right now?
My friend Brett, Over at Six Weeks says “Fail Early, Fail Often”- but hey, come on now, at some point, the majority of us would have said,”Um, I really wanted to play ball here…so if you’re not gonna let me have a turn…Um…I think I’ll just mosey on over and try somethin’ else.”
Nope. J-Mac had Sticking Power. J-Mac understood the magic of Staying Put. He didn’t have an agenda. He loved the sport and he wanted to be a part of it. Every SINGLE year he gave it his best shot and then played the card he was given with a winning attitude.
” At 5’6 he didn’t make the Junior Varsity Basketball team. Instead he became the team manager. The role he has now played for the varsity as a Senior. In the last three years, in his white shirt and his black tie, he’s missed only one game.”
He approached his job not as someone who had no options left, not as someone sulking or bitter because his dream of playing ball could never come true. Not as someone with limited options in life.
He approached his work with pride and privilege. Proud to be doing his part to make the team the best it could be.
In his own words:
What I tried to do is set up the clocks, get the water for the games and be enthusiastic.
It was his job to be enthusiastic. And he was proud and happy to do it.
I’m just normal like other people. That’s the way I am
Well……..actually??? Jason…what I’m thinking is….maybe not. Maybe you are a whole lot of something more.
While we “normal” people are out here whining and griping about what we didn’t get and how our *luck* ran out, and how It isn’t fair, and how “One of these days our ship is going to come in” , and “You’ll see, I’ll show that SOB…I’ll make him/her PAY for not giving me that Promotion/job/pay raise/(fill-in-the blank-with-what ever you might be feeling sorry for yourself for…)” You, JASON, were out there day in and day out giving it your best shot with an enthusiastic, wonderful attitude, GRATEFUL to be around the game that you love, expecting nothing in return except the privilege of showing up the next day too.
The Attitude of Staying Put. Of Giving it all You’ve Got. With Love. With Gratitude.
Look what it did for Jason McElwain.