When I was a kid, at primary school, we used to play Rounders quite a bit during our PE lesson. For those of you not aware, Rounders is a bit like baseball but shitter.
In my class there were a group of girls who used to be made to play the game, who obviously did not want to.
They would stand there when it was their time to bat, holding the stumpy wooden stick limply by their side, then when the ball was thrown (underarm, of course – we weren’t barbarians) instead of swinging the bat, they would take a listless half-step forward, drop the bat and saunter to first base. It may not surprise you to learn that not one of them ever came close to hitting the ball, even by accident.
I remember very clearly, even at that young age, being both mystified and annoyed by this behaviour. I couldn’t understand how you could stand in front of a slow moving ball, with a bat in your hand, and not even swing at it.
Why wouldn’t you even try? No matter how little you want to win, why wouldn’t you move your arm?
Now, I’m not trying to shame these particular individuals, because I’m sure they had their reasons – or maybe they didn’t need a reason and maybe it’s none of my damn business and the fact this has stayed with me this long says a lot more about me than them.
But in life ever since, I’ve met people who won’t swing the bat.
These are not people who get things done.
I guess that’s the funny thing about your own personal value system, anything outside of it is incomprehensible sometimes. Now, for all I know, these girls could have grown up to be heads of industry, and if so I wonder what happened to make them realise the value of trying, even when you don’t see an immediate benefit.
All I know is, when it was my turn, I swung that bat as hard as I could.