Posted by: Dahni | September 30, 2017

School of Our Republic

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By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved

Stadiums and arenas are filled with competitors and fans, but in front of— the ears and eyes of Our future, our children. This is, the School of Our Republic.

The School of Our Republic

“The Arena of Our Children is, Their Hearts & Minds”

National Pastime

Football 🏈 like baseball ⚾️ and basketball 🏀 (among other sports), were once viewed as national pastimes. Competition on the fields and courts and other surfaces was, how many of us vicariously worked out our aggression, frustrations and desires, for some momentarily and exhilarating pause from our day-to-day lives. When our teams and champions won, we felt like we won. We felt pride. We celebrated. We played along with them. We hurt with them when they were hurt. They were our friends and extended family and we were theirs. We fought along with them. We felt the agony of their defeat. We were victorious with them. And all of this in the span of, but few hours, gave us much to talk about, dream about and aspire to, for even longer.

As intense as the events were, and potentially hazardous, dangerous and possibly even fatal, it was far, far less than true battle and true war that these sports imitate, and leave far, far less injured and dead.

The history of sports is, the history of people.

Even the Ancient Greek Olympic Games were designed to keep the military in top mental, emotional and physical form, in times of peace.

We rooted for our favorite gladiator in ancient Rome. They were enslaved, injured and killed, for our aggression, our frustrations, amusement, enjoyment, warmongering and blood-lust. They were enslaved, injured and killed, for our lack of will and skill.

We together in the stands, stadiums and arenas, were together and we were together with them that fight, for us and they for us. They were our hopes and dreams to rise above the mundane, above our imperfection and fragility. We were the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams. And as they excelled, we excelled.

We drew this power from them as they compete. They draw this power from us, by our shouting and singing and standing; chanting, wearing their numbers and names and colors, encouraging and inspiring them on to victory.

All of this, just a game?

Oh contraire, it is not just a game or a national pastime, it is a school!

The School of our Republic is to Excel

We that are, chronologically adults, may forgive and forget why we were there. To have stood with respect for the symbolic waving of Our Republic’s flag or the swelling in our unified hearts, at the sight and sound of our National anthem.

We and they stood out of respect, for what We have been given

Our Flag of liberty and freedom, waving in the breeze

Whitney Houston singing our National Anthem

And there We were witnesses of rules, and fair-play, sacrifice, discipline, resolve and the will to win. We may surrender or acquiesce to the politics dividing, to all other causes which separate us, to high prices and rich salaries, forsaking all that We hold in common, for all that is— uncommon.

Yes, we may forgive and forget these all in this place, in this School of life, leaving the ever watchful eyes of teacher-less students in this classroom, vacant of necessary instruction and we then, leave these students to ruin and the future of all to whisper in the dark and then, to the forgotten abyss of oblivion.

But their future and our future is in watching us and what we do here. What are they learning? What are they not? What is this place? What is this school?

Children mostly learn, from what they hear, and see and feel from us

IV

“What constitutes a school?
Not ancient halls and ivy-mantled towers,
Where dull traditions rule
With heavy hand youth’s lightly springing powers;
Not spacious pleasure courts,
And lofty temples of athletic fame,
Where devotees of sports
Mistake a pastime for life’s highest aim;
Not fashion, nor renown
Of wealthy patronage and rich estate;
No, none of these can crown
A school with light and make it truly great.
But masters, strong and wise,
Who teach because they love the teacher’s task,
And find their richest prize
In eyes that open and in minds that ask;”

Excerpt from the fourth stanza, ‘Spirit of the Everlasting Boy [and Girl], by Henry Van Dyke – ODE FOR THE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF LAWRENCEVILLE SCHOOL June 11, 1910

The following quotes are all by Vince Lombardi. He knew something about— ‘the game.’ life, and School! He won the very first and second Super Bowl and the Lombardi Trophy is, named in his honor and presented to the winning team, every super bowl. Lombardi still holds the highest playoff winning percentage of all time (.900).

Teamwork

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Commitment

“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”

“Unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it – his mind, his body, his heart – what’s life worth to him?”

“Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.”

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

“I would say that the quality of each man’s life is the full measure of that man’s commitment of excellence and victory – whether it be football, whether it be business, whether it be politics or government or what have you.”

Success/Sacrifice

“Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

“To achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay a price.”

“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.”

“Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure, and the temporary failures.”

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”

“In order to succeed, this group will need a singleness of purpose, they will need a dedication, and they will have to convince all of their prospects of the willingness to sacrifice.”

“Success is based upon a spiritual quality, a power to inspire others.”

“There is no substitute for work.”

“Most important of all, to be successful in life demands that a man make a personal commitment to excellence and to victory, even though the ultimate victory can never be completely won. Yet that victory might be pursued and wooed with every fiber of our body, with every bit of our might and all our effort. And each week, there is a new encounter; each day, there is a new challenge.”

Discipline

“I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. “

“There is something good in men that really yearn for discipline.”

“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it character in action.”

“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”

“Once you have established the goals you want and the price you’re willing to pay, you can ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure and the temporary failures.”

“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off of the goal.”

“There is only one kind of discipline, and that is the perfect discipline. As a leader, you must enforce and maintain that discipline; otherwise, you will fail at your job.”

Will to Win

“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel – these are the things that endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events that occasion them.”

“There’s only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do.”

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

“You never win a game unless you beat the guy in front of you. The score on the board doesn’t mean a thing. That’s for the fans. You’ve got to win the war with the man in front of you. You’ve got to get your man.”

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.”

Leadership

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

“It is essential to understand that battles are primarily won in the hearts of men. Men respond to leadership in a most remarkable way and once you have won his heart, he will follow you anywhere.”

“Leadership is based on a spiritual quality — the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow.”

“Having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it.”

“Leadership rests not only upon ability, not only upon capacity – having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it. His leadership is then based on truth and character. There must be truth in the purpose and will power in the character.”

“A leader must identify himself with the group, must back up the group, even at the risk of displeasing superiors. He must believe that the group wants from him a sense of approval. If this feeling prevails, production, discipline, morale will be high, and in return, you can demand the cooperation to promote the goals of the community.”

“Leadership is not just one quality, but rather a blend of many qualities; and while no one individual possesses all of the needed talents that go into leadership, each man can develop a combination to make him a leader.”

“No leader, however great, can long continue unless he wins battles. The battle decides all.”

Excellence

“….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel — these are the things what will endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events themselves.”

“They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them…you show them the reasons.”

“After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”

Mental Toughness

“If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.”

“Teams do not go physically flat, they go mentally stale.”

“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it ‘character in action.’”

“Mental toughness is essential to success.”

“Mental toughness is Spartanism, with all its qualities of self-denial, sacrifice, dedication, fearlessness, and love.”

“Brains without competitive hearts are rudderless.”

Habit

“Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.”

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”

“Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, and a customer will recognize both.”

“If you don’t think you’re a winner, you don’t belong here.”

“Don’t succumb to excuses. Go back to the job of making the corrections and forming the habits that will make your goal possible.”

Faith

ie“I believe God.”

“I derived my strength from daily mass and communion.”

“When we place our dependence in God, we are unencumbered, and we have no worry. In fact, we may even be reckless, insofar as our part in the production is concerned. This confidence, this sureness of action, is both contagious and an aid to the perfect action. The rest is in the hands of God – and this is the same God, gentlemen, who has won all His battles up to now.”

“There are three things that are important to every man in this locker room. His God, his family, and the Green Bay Packers. In that order.”

Passion

“It is and has always been an American zeal to be first in everything we do, and to win…”

“It is essential to understand that battles are primarily won in the hearts of men. Men respond to leadership in a most remarkable way and once you have won his heart, he will follow you anywhere.”

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.”

“To be successful, a man must exert an effective influence upon his brothers and upon his associates, and the degree in which he accomplishes this depends on the personality of the man. The incandescence of which he is capable. The flame of fire that burns inside of him. The magnetism which draws the heart of other men to him.”

Results/Winning

“Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization…”

“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged on one thing: the result.”

“Winning is not everything – but making the effort to win is.”

“Success demands singleness of purpose.”

“If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?”

“Winning is not a sometime thing…it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while…you don’t do the right thing once in a while…you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.”

“Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

“The objective is to win: fairly, squarely, decently, win by the rules, but still win.”

“A team that thinks it’s going to lose is going to lose.”

“To the winner, there is 100-percent elation, 100-percent fun, 100-percent laughter; and yet the only thing left to the loser is resolution and determination.”

“Second place is meaningless. You can’t always be first, but you have to believe that you should have been – that you were never beaten – that time just ran out on you.”

Truth

“The object is to win fairly, by the rules – but to win.”

“Morally, the life of the organization must be of exemplary nature. This is one phase where the organization must not have criticism.”

“Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.”

 

Note: Vince Lombardi was a man. He coached men. His words above were written, in the context of men, but there is nothing he said, that would not and could not be applied, by anyone, male or female, of any age, anytime. It is high time!

 

“We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Excerpt from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Not to Yield

 

 

Just I-Magine,


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