There is a fantastic scene in the movie Coach Carter where Samuel Jackson is assigning the names of women from his life to game strategies that the team will use.
“Everything I knew about basketball, I learned from women.
I have a sister, her name’s Diane.
She was always on my case about every little thing.
Matter of fact, she still is.
“Turn down that radio!
You eat the last piece of cake?
Did you drink all the Kool-Aid?”
She was always in my face.
So when I call “Diane,”
We are gonna play straight man-to-man pressure defense.”
The dialog so caught my imagination both for the content and for the fantastic delivery by Sam Jackson that it stuck in my head. So today, as everybody around me kept talking about Women’s Day, it was surprising that I thought of this scene and related it to my life and the women in my life. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by very special women – they have been strong and tender, giving and demanding, caring and but not overbearing. Yes, I have been lucky.
Like most people, my first experience of a woman was my mother. From her I learned to believe that there is goodness in this world. My mother is a very trusting person, but not in a foolish way. She just gives everybody the benefit of the doubt and begins her relationship with everybody on a footing of trust. It is the other person’s prerogative now to keep that trust. But at the same time, she reads the fine print too, so that she is not taken in by someone who “thinks” she is a fool. I find that I apply the same standards with my relationships and it is just so much easier to start a relationship with trust rather than mistrust.
For a good part of my life, the other woman was my sister. From her I learned to believe that things would eventually turn out right. Even if I never got her religious fervor, I did learn that things can turn around just because you want them to. I learnt not to miss the forest for the trees. All her life, she gave things her best shot and left the rest up to God, supreme in the knowledge that everything would turn out right. It is something I have admired in her, even if I haven’t been able to replicate it in mine.
When it was time for me to have my own woman, once again I was blessed. I found a woman who would match me step-for-step all along the way. When I stumbled, she would lend me her shoulder. She I was stuck, she got behind me and pushed – adding her strength to mine, helping me overcome the most difficult of obstacles. When I couldn’t find a window in a room, she would dream up a door which led to pastures I didn’t know existed. Her willingness to sacrifice everything for the ones she loved and to sacrifice it all with a smile is a lesson that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Finally, there is a little bundle of joy who teaches me every day that the only way to love is to love unconditionally and totally. Every time I look at her, I find myself thinking that everyman must have a daughter, because you never truly appreciate what a woman brings into your life until you look down at a two-year-old and see her looking up with nothing but love in her eyes.
Yes, I am blessed to be surrounded by very special women, which is why I guess I never thought of Women’s Day as a special day. In my case, every day is an example of what a woman can bring to your life.