The Attitude of Staying Put

Attitude of Gratitude, leaving a legacy, self improvement, The Inspired Life

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.


21 thoughts on “The Attitude of Staying Put

  1. Wendi, through the years I have learned so much from people like Jason, those labeled by society as “challenged.” I think it is we who are challenged and people like Jason who are gifted. Unlike Jason so many of us will not just “show up” to give, or show up for passion. We want a result and we want it now and if it doesn’t happen we move on. A part of this story I also loved was the impact Jason made on his teammates by showing up even when there was no “direct benefit” to him. How often we forget that showing up can be a blessing to someone else. It’s not all about us and it is certainly bigger than instant results.

  2. The first time I watched this video (over a year ago) I wrote about it on my blog as well. Its a fantastic story.

  3. The clip was breathtaking and so was your post. What do you say after seeing and reading something like that. WOW! I am learning daily just to put my best foot forward and be greatful for the position I am in ….no matter how much is going on. The art of just being who you are and doing what you love…no matter what hand is dealt is a great reminder for all of us. Thanks for the insight, the post and the encouragement…

  4. looooove this story! Like lybl I saw this a while ago and posted on it, but I might need to re-post it. LOVED what you had to say — just being present and your best EVERY second is the Art of living 🙂 Thanks for the reminder

  5. Hi,
    Great Post. I heard about this awhile back and I find this young man to be very inspirational. I’d also consider him a great role model for younger kids to look up to.

  6. Hi Wendi,

    Now the problem with Twitter is I say, “I love your post” – which I did! And then I forget to come back and say hello. I remember seeing this when it happened and thinking, “well, I have no excuses now.”

    And then there’s the Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius. I love this guy.

    He could outrun any of us. And he has no legs.

  7. Wendi,
    Gotta love his story. Just show up with enthusiasm. You know what I like? His dedication to any task. He saw them all as important. Oh sure he wanted to play, wanted his game time, but he wanted to be part of that team, an equal. Remarkable .

  8. Wow! what a wonderful, emotional post, Wendi. I agree with you that we live in world full of capable men and women who blame everyone but themselves for not achieving their God given potential. This story is a powerful example for all of us.

    I’ve subscribed to your blog. Please visit mine when time permits.


  9. Staying put. Wow, in a day when we toss out people, places and things if they bring us discomfort, and give up before we give out, staying put is a novel thought. Not surprised it came from you Wendi. 🙂 thank you!

  10. Holy Cow Brett! You were in my spam filter!! My first commenter ever in my whole life and you got stuck there. How did that happen! Sorry brother!

    Yeah, I know all about the blade runner. Don’t be surprised to see him here someday. He puts us all to shame.

  11. Hi Barbara,

    I could have written a novel on all that I was thinking when I saw that. His book just came out. I can’t wait to go get it.

  12. Shilpan,
    Hi! Welcome and THANK YOU for subscriping ( Top corner everyone, I know it isn’t very obvious, sorry about that)

    I will be right over as soon as I finish comments.
    I really appreciate you coming over.
    We have a wonderful community here. I am glad you will be a part of it.

  13. Hi Harmony,

    Yep, that was my take on it. Instant pudding society. That’s what I call it.

    You know, it doesn’t even take that long to make good pudding.

  14. Janice,

    That is what struck me too. In our theater group, we run into some- not all- *superstars*

    If they can’t be the greatest part.the best..they are outa there. No team doing their best for the sake of doing their best. They just want the bright lights.
    Then there are the ones that take pride in a job well done because they have contributed and made a difference. It shows.

Comments are closed.