Monday, October 14, 2013

Some Things Are Just Not Okay....

In the past when I have quoted Mary Oliver's poem "Instructions on How to Live a Life," I use it in context to reveal a moment of grace. Or, to highlight the beauty of the human spirit, humanity at its best. Oliver writes: 
1. Pay Attention
2. Be Astonished
3. Tell About it.
I knew those same words could also work against me. Sometimes incredible events are just that—hard to believe. Two events that occurred this past Sunday serve as case in point.
Calais Campbell is met by paramedics, EMT and the Cardinals training staff
On Sunday October 13 at Candlestick Park, Forty-Niner fans did a curious thing. Late in the game, Calais Campbell, a defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals was down on the field and the clock stopped. Paramedics, EMT and trainers from both teams attended to him. Ted Robinson, the voice of the Niners called attention to the severity of the moment, speaking with great concern about what was going on, who was helping and why. 

If you were listening to the game however, it would have been hard to hear Robinson deliver this message. Why? Niner fans were standing and cheering as they did "The Wave."
I've always thought this cheer was way overrated. Not it's accompanied by that which is inappropriate.
These fans—primarily those sitting in the second deck— were so enthused, so focused on the success of the Niners and the impending victory, that they let the wave gain momentum.  Robinson was notably taken aback.  He said "49er fans, if you are listening, please stop. We have a man down on the field.  This is ridiculous. Please pay attention!" 

Robinson wasn't the only one calling for the cheer to stop. According to Bill Williamson of ESPN, "Several 49ers offensive players, who remained on the field while Campbell was being examined, gestured to the crowd to halt the wave."

I truly believe that fans make a difference. In football, they can be so loud that their noise can hurt the opposing teams when they are aiming to communicate with one another. Good fans are never to be taken for granted. But this gesture of support was simply not okay.  It could have been different. The CEO and owner Jed York agrees.  
In today's day and age, I often feel that people e.g. fans do what they want.  Rather than pay attention and enter into a situation or scenario with reverence and respect, they do their own thing.  And that speaks to my sentiment behind what I saw at Sunday mass later that same evening.

Sitting in front of me was a man drinking from his Starbucks grande latte as if we were in a coffee shop. Don't get me wrong, I love coffee. I don't plan on giving it up anytime soon. But I don't think it's appropriate to bring it to the holy sacrifice of the mass on Sunday or any other day of the week.

There are some places that can and should remain sacred.  As much as I'm a slave to the bean, it has no place in this setting. No other adult or young one came with any other beverage or snack. Mass is but an hour—perhaps you disagree...but I think it can wait.

When I enter into a church or synagogue, I do so with humility and eyes wide open. I pay attention to how people are dressed, the volume of their voice and how they interact with one another.  Rather than be astonished by the inappropriate gestures of others, I hope I will be astonished in how God is be revealed in the Word, the world, and one another. 

So here I am to tell about it...I hope next time, it's back to the positive.

Picture Credits.
Exit Campbell

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