Before reading this post, click here and watch the video on the page (also read the quote by William Deresiewicz, it is excellent).
It is rare to see a professional athlete (or any public figure) quite this candid. And I think what Brady Quinn has to say is important as well as profound.
I ride public transportation every day and there are times, more often than not, where every single person in my train car is flipping their way through a phone or an iPad.
I am not anti-tech, I am not anti-iphones, I’m not anti-facebook. I think these are mainly presenting issues of a deeper problem.
More and more I realize how profoundly messed up most people’s experience of family has been, and how poor we are as a culture at understanding community.
We live in a me-first, achievement driven, I-get-the-last-word-on-my-life world. Families, healthy ones anyway, don’t work like that. Healthy families work on a group first, team focused, someone-else-gets-the-last-word ethos.
Which brings me back to Quinn’s thoughts. We need to be better at actually caring for people…at asking hard questions of each other…at expecting hard questions to be asked of us (and looking for someone to do so if we don’t have that in place)…at submitting…at being a part of a group (at the expense of our own personal gain or comfort)…at considering others more important than ourselves.
I will never forget a conversation I once had with a student. They told me they needed me to give them 1,000,000 bits of positive feedback for every 1 bit of “criticism.” There’s a truth there: we need more positive affirmation than negative.
But there is an underlying current of avoidance of hard stuff in our culture: hard conversations, hard truth, hard work. I know this makes me sound like an old man, but I think it is true, and I think this lies at the heart of Quinn’s post-game thoughts.
Which leads me to a final thought: the best things in life always come through working through something hard. Grace is a free gift, and that is beautiful, but the working out of our salvation is not an easy job. It is a worthwhile fight…a difficult effort, a long obedience, that is truly good in every sense of the word.
I’ll end with this from Norman MacLean (author of “A River Runs Through It”): “All good things come by grace and grace comes through art and art does not come easy.”