What my son taught me about principle.
My oldest son started playing club soccer this year. He is a goalie and a very good one at that.
As they prepare for the fall season, the coach has been taking them to the local recreational leagues to play against older kids as part of their training. Since club teams practice more and are more advanced, they will sometimes play against kids that are 1-2 years older, and sometimes more than a foot taller.
A few weeks ago they played against a red team that cheated and put a 14-year-old on the field. My son’s team was beat up pretty bad that day by these older kids (Final score was 10-2).
Last Saturday they were set to play the cheaters again. It was the morning of the game when my son and I left the house early. He tells me, “Daddy, I want to win so bad against this team because they cheated against us. I’m going to do everything I can to help my team.”
My son proceeded to deliver the most inspired day as goalie that he has ever had in his illustrious 1 year goalie career. Diving for the ball, I’m sure he saw over 30 shots that day. His performance was simply inspired.
I remember one particular save seeing my son in traffic, airborne, fully extended and tipping the ball wide. I felt privileged to watch. But inspired by what? He was inspired by principle! He didn’t need any other reason. The team had cheated and he knew what needed to be done.
It didn’t need some complicated explanation or purpose. He stood for what’s right. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. Amazing, considering they lost 10-2 in the previous battle. Even though they didn’t win, he stood for what’s right. It didn’t need some complicated explanation or purpose. It was principle.
When’s the last time you did something purely on principle?