We had a football game between UC Berkeley and UCLA today. Typically, these games have quite an impact on everything in town, most importantly transportation and parking become almost impossible. How lively it is to fight for winning, to have a favorite team, and to show your support for something you relate to. Today, while I work at a café next to the football stadium in Berkeley, I am witnessing hundreds of students and alumni from both universities walk by wearing UCLA or Berkeley shirts, hats, or shorts. Many have brought their children, and of course the children are wearing shirts with the name and colors of their parents’ favorite school. As I write, Berkeley’s marching band passes by with the loudest drums and a few hundred uniformed students marching Bancroft Avenue while the crowd waves at them with open smiles. I am automatically a part of the excitement as I hear that Berkeley has won the game: 41 by 22. Why do I care? What is it that is so exciting about being a part of a community united for a purpose, a community that has a team and is relating to that team to feel better or to fight against something in common? Would I be disappointed in Berkeley if she had lost the game? Perhaps but I think not for long; I would probably continue smiling and congratulate the UCLA folks passing by.
Photo courtesy of nybox6
I recently had a job interview in England and did not get the job. When I was invited to interview for a faculty position that seemed to be a dream job at the time, I remember getting extremely nervous to even attend the interview fearing for the outcome. I wished I had not applied for the job at all and thought it was too early for me to do this as I was not prepared and not even close to graduating. My father told me something that completely changed my attitude, which is why I want to talk about sports. He said: “this interview is like a football match of your dream. You are invited to play in your national team against another excellent team. What matters is that you play for the sake of playing, the excitement, the glory of the game in itself – pay no attention to the results. Life is not about the outcome, it’s about the game. You will go and you will play your best and will enjoy the game regardless of the results. Do not pre-judge, judge, or post-judge the outcome. Just play…”