If you’ve ever played basketball with me you know that I have very little skill. Really the only way I ever even made the team was on what the coach called, “hustle”. Coaches used to say, “Streeter’s got hustle.” Which at the time just seemed like a kind way of admitting to the rest of the team that he knew I had no basketball skills. In any case, even with my limited abilities in basketball there is one aspect to the game that I always found unique to nearly any other sport or activity. It was this simple phrase, “My Bad!”
When you foul another player in basketball you hear the piercing sound of the ref’s whistle. If you have poor muscle control like me you hear this sound a lot when in close proximity to other players. The ensuing moments include the ref stopping play to walk over in front of the scoring table and calling out my number to make record of my foul. -As if the nasty stares from other players was not enough. As the referee called out your number, you threw your arm up in the air. Your arm went up, fast, like a 2nd grader in science class who needs to pee. It’s your way, in basketball, of acknowledging that you blew it. Plain and simple.
I want to be the first in our leadership circles to re-institute the, “My Bad!” Not as a flippant way of skirting the impact of wrongdoing, but simply to be the first to acknowledge we have wronged, dropped the ball, or been hurtful. Let’s be a people who raise our hand in the air the second we see the signs of life’s “referee whistle” has been sounded. Let’s be a people who take responsibility even before we think anyone noticed.
Let’s write more notes of apology.
Let’s vocalize our crabby moods before people avoid us.
Let’s acknowledge our hurtful sarcasm to those who we attack with a smile.
My basketball career ended long before it really even started, but I am grateful for all of those blowing whistles now as they have taught me the value personally AND in team building of calling out, “My Bad!”