This I Believe

Jesse - clinton, New York
Entered on December 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in compassion. I believe we should live life with a compassion for all people. At times this can seem easy, commiserating with a friend or co-worker about a simple trouble, or about how they have been wronged. It is natural for humans to seek support, and compassion is a way in which we can give it. But what about those times that we find to be the hardest to have compassion?

I play, and have played rugby for the past 7 years. I played in high school and continued my passion for the sport into college. Rugby is a lot of things; fun, fast, intense, and if played right, graceful. My love for the sport comes also from the love I have developed for my teammates. WE are like brothers who must rely on each other for support in order to reach our communal goal of playing well and hopefully winning.

Rugby is not always however gentlemanly. There are times when in the midst of a play or in the heat of a tackle when one player may let their emotions get the better of them and strike out either with a punch or foul language against the opposing team. As a player, I have seen this hundreds of times, but I find the action of these players (regardless of whose team they are on) degrading to themselves, their team and to the sport.

When I play rugby I play to win. I play with intensity and calculation and hopefully some strength. But even in the din of men and bodies and jerseys. I have compassion. A compassion for the other team, for my opposing player, though if I may not know him, stays with me. I do not punch, I do not kick and I do not speak out. I am not always perfect, but I find it makes more or less easy to calm the helms that other players may find to flare up. To hit another player is not to hit the enemy, but to injure myself. They are human, also like me, they are a guy just like I am. This compassion I feel is universal. It is between me and my teammate in the same way that it is between me and my opposite.

I want to play and I want to win, but I also would never cause injury on another player. I could never justify to myself ill will. Above all else, on or off the field we all are human. The compassion I feel for all humans is a force that sustains and empowers me. I have used it in my love for life, people and rugby.