It was a very interesting week in sports. Although, if you weren’t looking for it, you may have missed the most interesting part. One big story was that of Jordan Spieth and his dominating victory at the Masters. Then, there was the conviction of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez. Both athletes’ lives were changed forever. One will forever be considered one of the best in his profession. The other will spend the rest of his life in jail.
This space is not large enough to identify all of the differences that exist between Jordan Spieth and Aaron Hernandez. Even if it was, I do not know either of them well enough to fully identify their similarities or differences. However, one glaring difference can be drawn from their stories this week. It really comes down to one word. HUMILITY.
Even before his Masters win, whenever Jordan Spieth’s name has been mentioned, the word humility was usually soon to follow. Those who have been around him describe somebody who has an immense respect for both the game and its players, especially those who have more experience than him. He is constantly addressing senior players and officials with “yes, sir” and “no, sir”, often addressing them with “Mr.” While showing a competitive fire on the course, Jordan has handled all of his ups and downs (more “ups” than “downs”) with a calm, relaxed and humble attitude that consistently has commentators marveling at a maturity level that appears to be well beyond his young age of 21.
For Aaron Hernandez, the report is quite different. Those at the trial commented that, as he listened to the verdict that would send him to jail for the rest of his life, he had the same look and demeanor that he had for the entire investigation and trial – that which accompanied his overall aura of arrogance. This is the same way he was described as acting in the locker room, upon being arrested, investigated and then sitting through trial.
I am not saying that a lack of humility caused Aaron Hernandez to commit murder. However, could it have gotten in the way of his decision-making in terms of how he carried himself, who he had as friends, who he listened to, or whether or not he chose to listen to anybody at all? Absolutely.
There are many factors that go into one’s makeup as a person. I am not here to compare Aaron Hernandez and Jordan Spieth. There are no judgments being made here about either person. I am merely pointing out another example of how important it is for us all to realize and remember that it is not all about YOU. It IS possible to be hungry AND humble and it is up to each of us to find a way to live our lives with this in mind.
These two stories show us two extreme examples of all the good that can happen if we choose to maintain humility in our lives….and all that can go wrong if we choose to go another way. It IS a choice. Which path will YOU take?