Tag Archives: identity

RBI

2014 World Series, Game 2, Bottom of the 6th: Billy Butler’s single brings Lorenzo Cain home, putting the Royals in the lead 3-2, kicking off an inning long rally that would lead to a game winning victory.

Watching this, I was immediately reminded of the wave of pride felt when landing Little League RBIs. The pride was not from the run per se. In my 11th Little League season, I averaged .016 at the plate. I wasn’t expected to hit. I was a decent fielder and had a good arm. It’s likely I was left in to bat simply because I was not the worst of the 10-12 man team. Close, but not the worst.

I’m not sure what it was about specifically about Butler’s RBI, but the memory of this feeling came racing back the way they do when the smell of ABS hits your nose after opening up your first action figure since 1992. There was something potent about it.

In an instant, I was reminded that I’ve always been a supporter. Whether it is acting as consigliere, assisting behind an email account, or starting a record label solely because I believed in the record, I’ve always been one to recognize deserving talent and do my best to help said talent get where they need to be. Even with a .016 batting average, I never tired of trying to get my teammates home. And there was no better feeling than getting the star player across the plate. For a moment, Number 1 needed Number 9. Bunting with a man on was infinitely more fulfilling than swinging for the fences with none. (Yes, even I expected to put one over. Every kid does.)

Thanks for the sense of identity, Butler. Congrats on the win.

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Freakonomics Radio: ‘Think Like a Child’

Economist Steven Levitt, Freakonomics Radio:

Video games are fun. My son, Nick, who’s 11-years-old, could play video games for eight hours straight. Could Nick work at a job, say at McDonald’s, for eight hours? No. So it seems to me, what you take away from that is if you could make a job as fun as a video game, then you’d have all of the 11-year-old boys in the world, and probably the 15-year-old and 20-year-old and maybe even the 30-year-old boys lining up at your door trying to take that job.

This sentiment is very much echoed in game designer Jane McGonigal’s book Reality is Broken. A worthwhile read on the fulfilling benefits of games and updating the today’s workplace / social constructs to be more game-like.

Levitt continues:

I think fun is so much more important than people realize and I’ve seen it in academics. When I interview young professors and try to decide if we should hire them, I’ve evolved over time to one basic rule: If I think they love economics and it’s fun for them, then I’m in favor of hiring them. No matter how talented they seem otherwise, if it seems like a job or effort or work, then I don’t want to hire them.

In March of 2013, I wrote about the idea of circling back to childhood hobbies when I am feeling lost. Many of those hobbies I am still fond of today. They act as fantastic through-lines that keep me on track when I feel I have strayed too far off course or have lost sight of my path. See also Finding Your Calling published on The Art of Manliness on the idea of pursuing vocation rather than a job or career.

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