Sunday, June 28, 2009

An Awful Lot to Live For

Not everyone needs to compare themselves to King David (Gov. Mark Sanford) or Prometheus (NM State Investment Officer Gary Bland) when they are down in the dumps. And not everyone needs to enhance their natural abilities with female hormones (Manny Ramirez). Some people are quiet heroes without even trying. These are the men and women we should take note of, these are the heroes our children should look up to - the courageous ones, the quiet unassuming heroes among us.

Lou Gehrig is a great example of courage and honor in the face of disaster. Granted, the NY Yankee didn't make poor decisions that led to his personal challenge of ALS, but nonetheless, he didn't try to portray himself as a saint or add a royal moniker to his name as a result of his circumstances (as the so-called leaders and heroes of today so often do).

It's been almost 70 years since Lou Gehrig stood in the middle of the then-Yankee stadium, filled with over 61,000 die-hard Yankee fans. He spoke with stooped shoulders and eyes down and made what has become one of the most courageous speeches of all time, and certainly the most famous speech in baseball history.

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet, today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth... I have an awful lot to live for."

The fans cheered for Lou. Babe Ruth hugged him.

There was more than one giant in Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, but there was one who towered above them all, even stooped with eyes down.

Lou Gehrig died just two years later, but he left a legacy of courage, honor and humility as a standard for the rest of us.

His short speech should make us all sit up and take notice.

We all have challenges, but we also have an awful lot to live for. "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." (ee cummings)

Lou had courage. He grew up and became who he really was. He just didn't have the chance to grow old.

He left us an awful lot to live up to.

Lou Gehrig's speech, July 4, 1939

1 comment:

  1. Did you watch the Yankees - Mets game last night? Good stuff.

    I have an awful lot to live for, too. How lucky we are.