Issue Date: January 10, 2011
Lessons Of Kickball
When I was a kid, my family moved many times. At each new school, I would go out to the kickball field during recess and wait to be picked. Because the team captains didn’t know me, I would endure a week or two disappointed that I wasn’t picked. Finally, there would be a shortage of kids, and a team captain would reluctantly add me to their team. At that point, I was elated and tended to play well. Eventually I would become a team captain, and I would be picking my own team. Then my family would move again, and the process would be repeated.
Now I am an adult and a professional chemist and in a very similar situation. I’m unemployed and waiting to be picked. The team captains don’t know me, and so I have been turned away many times, dejected. I’m mature enough to know that there may never be a “shortage of kids” and waiting for one would be foolish. I know that there are things I can do to grab a team captain’s attention, and I practice them almost daily. But as in my younger days, I know that I must be patient.
One day I will be picked, and I’ll be elated, and I’ll kick a home run, and then all the other kids will like me. Maybe one day I’ll be a team captain again.
Frederick J. Lakner
- Chemical & Engineering News
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