Trail Blazing 42: What Jackie Robinson Continues To Teach Us

lessons through the game
I took myself out on a movie date yesterday to see “42,” partly because it was a baseball story, partly because it was a racism/human rights story and partly because I didn’t know much about Jackie Robinson and wanted to know more.   I must say that it was an amazing movie. I consider it a high recommend and think viewers will enjoy being inspired by the the raw courage, strength, resilience and honour that was Jackie, as well as the man who oversaw his placement:  Branch Rickey.

It’s not easy to withstand demeaning names and having insults hurled in one’s direction.  It can hurt  pretty deeply unless there is a solid connection with one’s inner core.

“You’ve got to have the *guts* to turn the other cheek.”  Branch Rickey

It takes fortitude and courage to remember one’s true nature ~ and that the insults and name calling really do reflect the internal turmoil of the person/people sending them out.  More often than not, turmoil is caused by emotional pain that is not expressed and it can eat away at a person over the years and it can eat away at a culture as well.  More often than not, the caustic words tumbling out of a person’s mouth are actually a reflection of the negativity that was hurled at them as a child. It’s such a universal paradigm and necessitates a healing journey for those who wish to be free’er.  We need to be careful what stereotypes and negativity we are handing down to our children.  There’s actually a scene in the movie that poignantly displays this “teaching” moment – a handed down lesson in hatred.  I’ll let you watch for it if you take in the movie.

“We need you.  Everybody needs you.  You’re medicine, Jack.”  Branch Rickey

I see the movie as a powerful lesson in just how far we can grow as an individual, and as a society, in part of one’s lifetime, but that growth is predicated upon the speaking out of injustices, however small or large they appear to be.  If we see something that is not right or not how we would want to be treated ourselves, then we must speak up to move the issue forward in the best possible way.  We all say that we want a green planet, for all people to have food and shelter.  We all say we want world peace, or a greater degree of it.  Well, it starts with the anger and hatred we are personally responsible for ~ and NOT jumping on some vile bandwagon of ignorance, hatred and unforgiveness.  Holding hatred inside does nothing to move the negativity out of the body of the person or society.  We must speak up – for our own health and that of the world.  No, it’s not always comfortable but, with practice, that muscle gets bigger and stronger.  It seems that, in my own experience of shifting from a kid who was not free to share feelings or opinions to a woman who can articulate far more of what I am thinking and feeling, well, it just feels a heck of a lot better and far more freeing.  From my heart, I wish that for everyone. “42” is a massive lesson if we are willing to see it.  Thank you to these men and women who had such courage to hold the Truth of who they were or to grow into better human beings.

“Maybe tomorrow, we’ll all wear 42 so they can’t tell us apart.”  … a (once-hostile) team mate to Jackie.
Beautiful empathy!  There but for the Grace…

Which Group Do You Want To Be Part Of?


Click here to watch a short but very powerful video.

There are those who fall into one of these scenarios depicted in the video.  Are you the new guy who is having a hard time adjusting, the bullies who enjoy shaming someone, or the nice guy who has a heart and is bold enough and genuinely wants to reach out?  Our language is powerful. 

In my opinion, the term “loser” belongs in the bullying realm.  Would you call your child a loser?  How about a sullen guy sitting on a bench who looks a little disheveled?  What a bum – what a loser!  Only you don’t realize that that guy just got news that he is terminal and has 3 months to live – and he is so messed up because he can’t figure out how to tell his kids. Or, maybe he is a veteran who fought for his country, was saturated in combat gore and can’t cope well now with the PTSD that arose.  Or maybe it’s a woman who was steeped in abuse most of her life and never found her way back home – to herself.  I could give you a thousand possibilities and there would still be more, so how is it that the idea/judgement a lot of people have IS the right one anyway?  And, in the end, who are we to judge?  We are here to learn about Love.

When harsh words are spoken, it is like punching someone right in the face.  If loser is not a harsh word, imagine telling your 8-year-old that every day for a year.  I know what would happen.

If success and privilege create black and white thinking – somebodies and nobodies – then, how can that be defined as success?  Check the copy for languaging and consider what is being promoted (or “liked”) in social media – are you supporting a world of demeaning, disempowering verbal punches that our kids will inherit, or one of compassion and understanding?  I want my kids to live in a world where they are treated well. Because, you know….

There but for the grace of God, the Universve, Buddha,

Allah, Krishna, your shoe, (whatever), go I.

And you.


Please, check out the link above.


Peace out,