His father who had died a few weeks ago had always envisioned his son as a major league Baseball player. Jordan was deeply attached to his father and now decided to fulfill his dad’s dream. He wanted to please his dead father even at the cost of sacrificing his own passion.
What was the result? Imagine if Virat Kohli gave up cricket and played hockey instead, or Amir Khan gave up acting and chose to sing in its place. Jordan’s transition from being a super genius in his game to an ordinary player in another sport pained both him and his fans. Two years later he announced his return to Basketball, much to everybody’s relief. British author David Stafford, in his Codependency: How to break free and live your own life, echoed Jordan’s flawed approach, “Whenever you feel compelled to put others first at the expense of yourself, you deny your own reality, your own identity.”
Let’s offer what we have, not what we don’t
If Virat Kohli decides tomorrow that since the Indian hockey team isn’t performing all that well, he should help by switching to hockey, what would be your reaction? You don’t need to give up what you love and what you are good at, just for an imaginary noble cause. It’s better to excel in your core talents and offer it as a service to please others.
Like Jordan and Kohli, you too could bring joy to your friends if you offer what you have rather than artificially provide what you don’t have, in the name of service. The legendary American, Mia Hamm, widely believed to be the greatest woman soccer player ever, put it simply, “It is not sacrifice if you love what you are doing.”
Let’s be honest and do what we love to do, and somewhere on our journey, we could offer that talent to bring goodness into this world. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna chastises his friend Arjuna because he was attempting to be what he was not. Arjuna decided to leave the battlefield and become a mendicant instead. Krishna warned Arjuna that since he was a warrior by nature if he renounced the war and went to the forest, he’d bring about themassive ruination of the social fabric.
To be continued…