He said afterwards, “I just thought it was awesome,” but the video doesn’t lie. Kole Calhoun was frustrated. This kid reaches up and snags the foul ball that Calhoun, the right fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was just about to grab for the easy out.
Players love the fans, but they hate stuff like this. The game is already so tough. Players already have to worry about crowd noise, now they have to worry about crowd interference?
But what’s so noteworthy about this moment—and you really should watch the video—is that despite Kole’s immediate and visible frustration, he doesn’t get upset. He doesn’t yell. He doesn’t say or do anything at all for a full beat. He takes a breath, he reaches over and then he gives the kid a fist bump…telling him to be ready to be the #1 play on SportsCenter that night.
After the game, Kole was philosophical about the whole thing: “It brings out the kid in you. It kind of brings some perspective. That’s why we play the game. That kid is never going to forget that. What a moment for him.”
Remember: The Stoics are not superhuman. They are very much human—they have preferences, they have frustrations. What makes them extraordinary is their ability to rise above these emotions and impulse reactions to behave the right way. To actually behave the way they always hoped they would when they contemplated the uncertainties that come with adversity.
In a sense, this is what makes this video clip so impressive. If Calhoun simply didn’t care about what happened to the ball, if he was going through the motions on the field, then his poise in the situation wouldn’t mean anything—it wouldn’t even be poise. It’s that he grabbed hold of himself and stopped himself from getting (very understandably) upset, that makes this so impressive. Calhoun practiced the pause between stimulus and response…and was greater for it.
Seneca said that delay was the best remedy for anger. Perspective, as Calhoun said, is a close second. He was able to see it from the viewpoint of a kid and a fan, uncolored from his own drive to win or get the out. He was able to calm himself down. He was able to make the most of the situation and, in the process, teach that kid a wonderful lesson in sportsmanship.
A lesson we could all stand to re-learn, right now, today.
對於影片中的 Seneca 來說，他可以將那個孩子視作妨礙他接球的壞蛋，但他也可以提醒自己他是球迷，兩者帶來的感覺可能會完全不同。轉念的秘訣：換個正面角度，想一些正面的事情。
觸動我的還有一點，重點不是你的第一反應，而是你的第二反應——最後做出的行動。我有時候會覺得自己不是個好人，因為我心中很常會浮起負面的想法，是那種我覺得根本不會出現在「好人」腦子裡的東西。有時候會覺得自己知道太多陰暗的東西，是不是已經被完全汙染了，這輩子都無法當個純潔無瑕的好人了。但是 Stoic 告訴我們最重要的仍然是你最後所做出的反應。並不是只有第一時間就做出最好的反應才是好的，就像影片中的 Seneca，你可以從他的肢體動作看到對於這個結果一開始他並不開心，但是下一個瞬間，他選擇碰了小男孩的拳，而促成了這齣美談。或者說正是這種克制讓人覺得震撼力更強。就有點讓我受到觸動吧。並不一定要腦中完全沒有黑暗的想法，而是你怎麼看待這些黑暗的東西，假如最後你讓想法停留在想法，仍然用自己希望的善意對待這個世界，那你也很了不起。
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