The Power of the Little Guy
I believe that the witnessing the perseverance of the “little guy” is among the most gratifying sources of happiness. It is in these instances that we recall the oft forgotten idea that anything truly is attainable.
Periodically as I am flipping through the channels I land on a station televising a WWE wrestling match. I think to myself that this is not really a sport, that it just some scripted nonsense that fulfills only the testosterone-driven men of the world. One day I came across a match in progress in which the biggest, most prolific wrestler was absolutely massacring one whom, even with my lack of knowledge of the sport, I knew was among the weaker competitors. The destruction was difficult to watch. But the weaker of the two continued to get up, time and time again. He started defending himself and the momentum of the match shifted to his side, and he eventually ended up winning it. I actually found myself excited, and I forgot about the negative thoughts I had about the sport. His exuberance and his will to stay standing, authentic or not, was something that I appreciated. It is in our very nature that we as humans root for the proverbial “underdog”.
I believe in the coming together of different genders, races, social classes, and parts of the globe, all absorbing the euphoria in the atmosphere in these moments. It is one of the rare times when people are able to find reasons to join together effortlessly.
Take the Warriors playoff run last season. People all over the country were pulling for them to beat a Mavericks team that was widely considered the best in the league. But, before last year, who really cared about the Golden State Warriors? Only those patient season ticket holders who attended every game, who watched a team in disarray lose night in and night out, who held on to what seemed like a false hope of success. And yet, now that they were a game away from beating the powerhouse Mavericks, people all over the world tuned in to watch. My aunt, whom I find it hard to relate to at times, came to visit a week or two after the Warriors had won it. She said to me, “How ‘bout those Warriors. What a great series”. She lives in North Carolina.
We remember in these instances that it is possible to rise from bottom to top, to go from loser to winner, to attain the presumed unachievable goal. And if we forget, rest assured there will be a person, a team, an army, who will remember, and remind us again that anything is possible.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.