You’re in My Corner

By Lauren Selman | Bio

"Don’t worry about it, you’ve got me in your corner." These are the words that make a child warm inside and feel like they can accomplish anything.

My father said this to me the other day, and when he said it I felt like I was on top of the world and that I could do anything. I was scared and intimidated, but that fear lifted when I knew he would be there. Like Rocky in the ring, I can look back and know that he is there coaching me on my swing and my strategy. I know that my parents and their partners are there to support me in the game of life. It is clear that they are on my team. Now coming from an athletic background, I know that there is nothing more important than your team. You are them and they are you. You grow with them, they pick you up and together you experience the glory of victory and the lessons of failure.

Who is on my team? I have incredible young women who have challenged me to grow and reach new heights. I have youthful spirits who make me laugh and be true to myself. I have mentors and wise elders whom I look to for guidance and light, and so many more individuals and spirits who make me who I am today. However, as I begin looking at my own team, my life support system, it gets me thinking. Does everyone in my generation have the other generation in their corners? With the noise of the crowds, internet, peer pressure and the fictitious illusion for the need to grow up, can we hear our biggest fan, our VIP player or, most of all, our all-star coach? And, if so, are we willing to listen to them?

Last year, a dear friend of mine lost her mother to ovarian cancer. It broke my heart to know that her 2-in-the morning phone call signified that her mother had passed on, that her healing hug and voice that could calm the world’s chaos would no longer be there. One of my friend’s most valuable players had been retired. Like Robertson’s victorious and memorable number 42 that hangs in all baseball stadiums, her mother’s number continues to be a source of inspiration and strength. But now my friend must continue to play on the field. She must get off the stands, out of rookie training and really play. But what happens as more and more numbers are retired and our teams change?

I have been extremely privileged to have an incredible support system and to lose any of them would change the dynamic of the team I call my life squad. When my friend lost her mother, I felt compelled to help strengthen her support net. But the obvious realization that we can never fill the void left when a parent dies keeps lingering in my mind. When we lose our elders, who is there to fill the space?

I think about the generation gap a lot. What does it mean to be a solo player versus a team player? Why has our culture moved away from a team mentality? Why have we stopped listening to each other on the field and believe that we know how to win and, more so, that we can win by ourselves? What will it take for us to become team players again?

© 2008 Lauren Selman. All rights reserved.