This I Believe

Mike - Westen Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Camaraderie: A Simple Connection

In every aspect of life there are comrades; people who relate through common experiences. They can be at school, work, or home. These comrades are vital. They lend support and give people something to lean on. Camaraderie gives people a sense of belonging. At home, a comrade can be a sibling. They can relate to each other through their parents. Classmates, coworkers, teammates, musicians, and doctors all share camaraderie. Athletes of all kinds share instant connections. I think that the strongest camaraderie is found in sports. The greater the common experiences are, the greater the camaraderie will be. I believe in camaraderie as a way to connect.

I am a runner. I can relate to people triple my age just because we run. We share a common interest and hobby. My sport carries great camaraderie not just within a team but through all teams and runners. We have all been through similar experiences so we can bond. We share an instant connection. People on my team are greater comrades to me than people on another team. Runners I have raced are greater comrades than runners I have not raced against. This is due to camaraderie being a greater force when there is more common ground.

A specific time I recall camaraderie is after a race when I cooled down with members from another team. We could instantly connect and share a conversation simply because of running. Also, we had just been through the same experience (the race). I had never talked to them before, but because of camaraderie we could communicate.

Camaraderie and sportsmanship are directly connected. Runners will shake hands or give each other a pat on the back before or after races (even when the competitors are from other teams). Often, before races, I will give a nod to a fellow runner because we have raced against each other several times prior. There is always a sense of togetherness. Comrades have respect for each other.

Camaraderie is as simple as a nod or a smile. Comrades do not need know each other well. They only need to find common ground to relate upon. Everyone has comrades in life. Camaraderie is a simple relationship. However, I feel its importance cannot be overlooked.