Last night, I sat in the living room to watch the golden state warriors game. (Dub nation – at least, I think that’s what it’s for.) I realized it was the first time I voluntarily watched an NBA game. My parents turned off the family TV during my kindergarten years; a choice I carried into my adult years, resulting in very little television exposure as an adult.
One evening, Azar and I were sitting in the living room, having a conversation over a glass of wine. She mentioned a celebration in Oakland when the Golden State Warriors won the 2015 NBA Playoffs. I heard the word “Parade” and was instantly excited. At first thought, I thought the parade was akin to something I had seen in Ohio or Texas; a 45-minute spectacle in the street with a donated Corvette from the #RICHART family in Columbus.
As time went by, I began to inquire more about this parade. I learned the Dusty Rhino, a Burning Man art car, would roll down the streets…
There’s something about a parade that appealed to me. When you think about it, a collection of people coming together to be apart of something much larger than themselves. Fully apart from the parade, while adding to it at the same time. A parade in the streets wouldn’t be much fun without the noise of the crowd. A crowd in the streets is usually a bad thing – unless there’s a parade/celebration.
Back to sports…
Prior to the expectation of a parade, my outlook on sports likened them to watching a game of Pong; the blip goes from one side to another, amidst cheers and overpriced floor seats. Thus, I have never been able to hold my attention in sports conversations. I’d rather drool at the sky than see another beer commercial.
Yet, I found myself becoming more interested in sports with the prospect of having a parade stroll down the street. My excitement increased when I learned over 1,000,000 people showed up in 2015.
I think the moral of this story is that knowledge and understanding have a powerful way of bridging differences. I have found fear to be a destructive element that prevents us from loving and accepting each other. In my case, I felt shy during sports conversations, as I couldn’t tell you a single stat, MVP, or championship title in the last ten years (though I did work for Lenny Dykstra…).
Perhaps you don’t know everything about sports – or maybe you don’t feel as if you bring something to the table when connecting with others – I am sure there’s a parade out there that excites you and will bridge new connections in your life.