Let’s call it a fling.
Somehow, it went in. We celebrated! It was the greatest moment in my personal sports history. A moment, I’m certain, no one else remembers because it took place during a sparsely attended game between two after-school club teams in the late 70′s.
There are many moments in life that exist only in our minds – triumphs that evoke shrugs when spoken of, if they are talked about at all.
For instance, there was the time that I stopped a purse-snatcher.
On a busy Fordham Road in the Bronx, just west of the main shopping area, I noticed a woman walking ahead of me. She carried a baby and had a large bag hanging from a strap over her shoulder. The reason that I noticed, I’ll admit, is that she had a great booty. A young man reached into her bag, took out her purse, and tucked it under his shirt as he approached her from behind and walked past her. Without thinking, I started to run. As I got close I didn’t know what to do, so I tackled him. His face hit the sidewalk. I reached under his shirt and pulled out the purse as the unknowing victim neared. Between the three of us, I can’t say who was more surprised. She took her purse and thanked me before hurrying off. I got up and let the young man flee. He didn’t ask why, he just ran.
Was I a hero? Not really. It was just one of those moments when doing the right thing didn’t end in disaster, as it often does. Just pick up a newspaper if you don’t believe me. Still, I don’t regret that moment. It did some good.
There are also moments that we remember, but we aren’t eager to talk about.
One day, I was driving in Queens with my wife and daughter when we were cut off. Just as in the purse-snatching incident, I reacted without thinking. Weaving in and out of my lane, I chased down the van. I finally caught up to it at a red light and I started to yell at the driver. As I yelled, all of the bad things that could happen flashed in my mind. What if the guy had a gun? Since I had pulled up on his left, I was shouting over my wife and out of the passenger window.
How could I be so dumb?
The light changed and he drove off.
As I calmed down, I promised myself that I would never do anything that asinine again. I gained nothing from the encounter — not even satisfaction, but I risked everything.
We don’t have to respond to every dis.
Moments, be they good or bad, are just moments. Most pass into the past quickly and are forgotten. We should remember this when we’re experiencing bad moments.
They probably won’t last.
Life should be lived for the good that we can do. There’s no point in giving in to our baser urges like anger, conceit, or revenge. Do good things when you can, but keep sight of the big picture. Remember that knee-jerk responses can betray our better selves.
Living life as a hot head can be a very bad thing.
Take a breath.
Take a moment.