Close your eyes and imagine your ideal America. What do you see? What do you smell? What are you physically touching or feeling? What do you hear? What do you taste?
When I close my eyes and imagine my ideal America, I see people smiling and talking to each other. I see the American flag. I smell the clean, fresh air. My skin feels heat from the sun and a cool breeze. I hear laughter and birds and kids playing. I hear the excitement. I taste sweet and salty, and a refreshing cold beverage.
I see no tweets or hateful faces, and I smell no conflict sweat, feel no gut punches, and taste no acid. I also hear no nasty words or name calling.
My ideal America must be something similar to a baseball game.
Every person has a degree of idealism in their picture of a perfect world. I am no exception. But I was surprised by the common themes between my ideal American vision and the baseball tournament I attended for three days over the weekend.
Boys played the game, but siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, and friends showed up to support their team. The mood was relaxed, yet excited. The conversations included a multitude of topics because there was time. Sunflower seeds and cold sandwiches seemed to be the menu of choice, and nobody was in a hurry. Life looked like Mayberry; easy, caring and fun.
Too bad we don’t duplicate the principles of baseball into our American lives. Baseball has rules that make sense, and they apply to everyone. Players and observers demonstrate respect. Forgiveness for errors is immediate, and praise for skills and luck is sincere. Teaching and learning are continual, and every player’s contributions are for the good of the team. Win or lose, “Good game,” and a handshake is present.
That is my American ideal.
Baseball was first mentioned in U.S. publications 15 years after the adoption of our Declaration of Independence in 1776. Maybe our forefathers played a makeshift ballgame using a stick and a ball. Perhaps they thought of the benefits as they wrote and signed their names on the document. Maybe, just maybe, their vision of an ideal America was similar to mine.
What is YOUR ideal America? Imagine it in detail as you celebrate our great nation this Fourth of July. Thoughts are things.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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