“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
Whether or not you are a sports fan, you will not want to miss the new biopic “42” about the legendary Brooklyn Dodger, Jackie Robinson. But the film is about much more than baseball. It’s about character over circumstances. It’s about winning much more than a game. It’s about waking us up to our own greatness.
Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ president and general manager was a forward-thinking man of integrity; a visionary. By hiring a black rookie on his all-white team, Rickey effected social reform and literally made baseball an equal playing field. Both men knew what they were taking on, but somehow saw that their suffering was an investment in a bigger purpose.
So many of us can relate to cruelty and inequity whether we have been faced with racism, bullying, abuse, discrimination, humiliation, harassment, ageism, and more. Many of us remain victims, wallowing in bitterness, anger, hopelessness, and in the worst cases, revenge. God knows Jackie could have done the same. It’s a very human response.
Yet Robinson didn’t blow his opportunity for growth with retaliation.
We went to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson Night just last night. His widow, Rachel, and his children were there, escorted to the field by Magic Johnson. Harrison Ford, who brilliantly plays Branch Rickey, threw the opening pitch. (Don’t give up your day job, Harrison.) Branch Rickey’s great-granddaughter sang the national anthem. All the players on both teams wore 42 jerseys. What a moving night. It made me question how I can face my own challenges. What can they possibly be preparing me for?
How can I free my own inner champion? Who can help me be a 42?
Slide into a movie theatre and catch “42.” Take someone out to a ballgame. Buy them some peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
Read more posts by Nancy Irwin, PsyD, C.Ht, Therapeutic Hypnotist, Author and JenningsWire Blogger.