Keep your eye on the ball, part 2

By Bill Stork, DVM

Soccermay be the "Beautiful Game," and horse racing the "Sport ofKings," but baseball is much more than "America's Pastime." It hasbeen called sport's greatest metaphor for life. The first commandmentof baseball is "Keep your eye on the ball." We shout it throughcupped hands at little leaguers and in stadiums at multi-cajillion dollarprofessionals. Yet we would be well served to stop and think.

Asprofessionals, the difference between survival and success can be keeping youreye on the ball. For the dairy farmer, it may be recognizing that Effie isusually the third cow on the west side of the parlor, but today she was last inher group. For the cowboy it means that one of your 1500 Angus cows is bawling;her calf is sick and not nursing, and she is uncomfortable. At the Lake MillsVeterinary Clinic, our staff observe that a patient stops to urinate twice fromthe car to the building, lending relevance to the five pounds she has lost.

Mydad operated a 500-ton Manitowoc crane called Big Red. He would never make apick late in the day, when his iron workers would be tired and the wind at itsstrongest.

Whetherparents, partners, friends or those who serve, by living aware we can start tomore completely fulfill our potential. The 5th grade teacher whonotices a student has worn the same clothes for three days straight, or doesnot have a coat for recess. Mail carriers who recognize when an elderlyresident has not collected the mail. We may see that a friend simply does nottake his usual place in conversation. We can notice the difference betweenpolite and depressed, paralyzed and unable to step forward and ask for help.

Welive as slaves to our agendas, with urgencies real and perceived. Let us downshiftand ditch the blinders. Once we've recognized a friend in need, let us take ourhands from our knees and our eyes off the computer screen. Help can be assimple as a word, a hand, or an ear to someone who is down.

Those10 minutes are, without doubt, more valuable than the first two contestants on"Idol."

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