Sunday, June 4, 2017

Little Things

When I coached basketball, I felt I needed to have two essential players on the team. The first was my point guard. He had to “be me” on the court. (Not play like me, thankfully. That would be a disaster!) He had to be the coach, the general. He had to direct traffic. Without that player, all of the other pieces would not fall into place and the outcome of the game would not be in our favor.

I was blessed with some really good ones. In Wyoming, Gene was my general. A little guy, but bright and athletic. He was also the younger brother to the star of the team and that was an interesting dynamic. It turned out fine because with him and with the other fine athletes on that team, we played for the State Championship twice and won it once.

In Waukesha, Wisconsin, Steve and then David were the point guards. Both were leaders and both led the team, not so much in scoring, but in creating opportunities for others to score.

The other player I coveted and had to have on my team was the sixth man. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? A non-starter being essential?

My sixth man had to be smart and he had to do one of two things- sometimes at the same time. He either had to light a fire (shooting and rebounding) or put out a fire (defense). And much of what to do and when to do it was up to him and his instincts.

Again, I was blessed with some really good ones. In Wyoming, there were Ron and Tim. At first, they were reluctant. Both had wanted to start. Neither of them wanted to sit on the bench and wait for my signal to go in despite my assurances that they would play and end up playing a lot. Ron ended up being All-Conference at that position.

In Waukesha, I had Scott and then Mike. Both guys did what was asked of them and never complained. They did their part, whether it was shooting the lights out or shutting down the other team’s shooter.

We’re so used to watching stars perform, aren’t we? Guys who go by one name: LeBron; Dez; Dak; Brady; Rodgers. Even in the world of entertainment: Reba; Dolly; Kenny; Bruce. So famous, we mention that one name and most of us know who we’re talking about.

Not taking anything away from any of these gifted athletes or performers, but there are certainly other individuals who make it easier for them to play or perform. There are so many other crucial pieces of the whole we seem to forget.

I have Brett Favre’s Hall of Fame speech taped on our DVR. Yes, he thanked his fellow players, his family, and his coaches. But he also thanked the equipment guy and the locker room guy. I wouldn’t know their names unless I heard the speech and as I write this, can’t recall their names. But Favre thought so highly of them that he called them out publicly.

Where would Brady, Rodgers, or Dak be without the linemen in front of them? The guys who block? And where would they be without the guy who is called off the bench to replace one of those injured linemen?

One of my favorite pictures among many is of President Obama giving a knuckle-bump to the White House janitor. We don’t know his name, but I’m pretty sure President Obama did. (I also like the picture of President Obama bending down so a little boy could touch his hair). There was a gentle, humbleness in the man I so admire and so very much miss. He recognized the lowly, the low of station. He recognized the little guy who did the Little Things.

I know I wouldn’t be as effective without my building engineer or my office manager. I know the school wouldn’t function as well without the receptionist, the attendance clerk or the guidance receptionist. There are plenty of people out there like them.

So here’s to the little guy who does the Little Things. The man or woman, the boy or girl, who work in silence and without a spotlight. The man or woman, the boy or girl, who goes about life making it easier for each of us; who make it possible for us to do our jobs and live our lives a bit easier. Without them, the folks who are known by only one name- wouldn’t be. We’d wonder, ‘Who are you talking about?’ God Bless each of you, and thank you for all you do for us. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I finished my fifth work of thriller/suspense fiction, Caught in a Web and I’ll keep you posted as to when it will be published.

Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

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If you like Thriller/Suspense fiction, check out my novels:

Available on Amazon for .99 the Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Agent Kelliher and two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.

Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.

Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.

Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy:
It began in Arizona with death and it ends in Arizona in death. A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their family vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are? Or how many there are? Or when they might come for him?

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe