Heather Harris: We're all on the same team

Heather Harris

I hate insincerity. I hate dishonesty. I hate fake people. I hate people who talk behind your back or spread rumors just for the sake of having something to say. I hate people who pretend to be your friend only to turn around and bash you for unknown reasons.

Yet, for some reason, this type of mentality exists. We see it in our peer groups, our politicians, our society as a whole. I’m often asked why I love athletics, especially team sports.

One of the main reasons is because once the uniform goes on, the shin guards are on, the laces are tied, the mouthguards are in… the rest of the world vanishes.

There isn’t time for petty gossip. There isn’t time to put on makeup or an expensive suit. There isn’t time to put on airs.

You stand there in the exact same uniform as your teammates. Nothing separates you from the other. You perform as one. It comes down to relying on each other to achieve the same goal.

If only that approach transferred over into the so called “real world.” Instead of bickering or backstabbing, realize that underneath the different clothes, the different houses, the different cars, we are all human –– skin, bones, muscles and soul.

Just like in a game, we aren’t always going to be perfect. We are going to take risks and fall flat on our face. We are going to aim at the basket and toss up an air ball.

But in a game situation, typically your teammate is there to slap you on the back, to tell you its okay.

 To provide sincere support.

That support is sometimes hard to muster, especially if your goalie let past the winning goal. But you accept them because they are your teammates and you know they didn’t do it on purpose, that they tried their very best.

Why is it so hard to act this way in the real world? I so often see people delight in other’s misfortune. Or listen to people preach and ramble on, offering their close-minded and unwanted opinions.

You don’t have time for that nonsense on the playing fields. Next time you hear someone spreading negativity, ignore it. Choose to be on the winning team.

Keep in mind the shoes you put on to start your day, they are the same pair of shoes your neighbor is slipping on. They may not look the same, might be a different design, but the foot that sits inside the sole is attached to a person. A person with feelings, emotions and concerns similar to yours.

We are all part of the same team, known as the Human Beings. Cheer each other on. Or as my grandmother used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Heather Harris is reporter for the Norton Mirror, Mansfield News and Easton Journal in Massachusetts. A three-sport high school athlete and two-sport college athlete, sports have long been a passion of hers. The mother of two can be seen running through the streets of Mansfield where she currently resides. Heather Harris can be reached at hharris@wickedlocal.com