“I have learned that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” ― C.S. Lewis
I was reminded of this quote last week while listening to a beautiful young girl speak about trying to find her way in the world. A few weeks prior she had tried out for her school sports team and after giving it her all, she made the ‘B’ team. Well, she hadn’t planned on being on the ‘B’ team, she had planned on being on the ‘A’ team, and now a full two weeks later, she was still not sure how she felt about it.
We spent the next hour talking about life and all of the ‘A’ teams and ‘B’ teams that will probably show themselves in her world. We talked a lot about choosing what to fight for… she could fight to move up to the ‘A’ team, or she could be the best ‘B’ team player she could be. I was impressed that this young woman was not yet sure she was willing to stay quietly on the ‘B’ team. Many times sitting on the ‘B’ team bench makes us feel small. Sometimes, there are certain people in our lives that make it their job to keep us on the ‘B’ team. Yes, ‘B’ team is a quiet place to be, just as today’s quote implies.
I don’t think there are too many among us who, from the get go, hold aspirations of being on the ‘B’ team. ‘A’ team is the inherent goal we are built for- survival of the fittest at its most basic level. Some of the things that divide the ‘A’ team from the ‘B’ team are out of our control; geography, culture, socio-economics, birth order, gender, and so on. The selection process is not always fair, but we always have a choice of whether or not to accept our lot quietly or to make a run at ‘A’ team. We should try to be wise with our battles, because there are always going to be some ‘A’ teams we just cannot make.
I loved the fact that this young woman had enough inner worth to push up against being on the ‘B’ team. She was not yet sure that she was going to let life, or fate, or anything else decide. She was still thinking… and although she had not yet made a decision, the pivotal thing that I observed, was that she was not yet willing to be silent. She had not yet become one of the ‘B’ team players that had grown quiet because life had taught them that it does not matter how hard they play, how well they shoot, or how faithful they are to the team…. there is no chance of moving up.
The great thing is this: there are always places in our lives where we can manifest our own ‘A’ team- we all have the ability to play ‘A’ team somewhere. Think about the places in your life where you get to be on ‘A’ team- maybe it is in a special friendship where there is mutual respect and honesty, or in a work relationship where there is praise and appreciation for your skills. You know you have ‘A’ team status when you can be authentic and you do not have to be silent. Surround yourself with your own ‘A’ team as much as you can… but expect that in some parts of your life there will be situations and people who will keep you on the ‘B’ team.
‘B’ team is a quiet place to be, but ultimately when you look around at your teammates you see an impressive bunch; Growth is there, along with Wisdom, Humility, and Silence. Playing ‘B’ team is not easy, but when all is said and done, it’s really just a chance to learn from the best.