Shake Hands

My son plays for the Philadelphia Generals Mite/Squirt Patriot team.
Once again he recently made me think about things in an entirely different and positive way. My hope is that it makes you think that way too.
A couple of weekends ago we were playing at a local rink and it was a very competitive game. This is a little embarrassing to say but yes, Coach John and Coach Kerry found themselves raising their voices to the referees, disagreeing with many of their calls….. (Mite hockey, I know….not good….) The game ended and both teams shook hands as well as did the coaches and the referees.
On the way home my son said to me, “Dad, shaking hands at the end of the game is good.”
I inquired, “What do you mean?”
Cade said, “Well, after all the hard work and all the yelling and excitement, once we all shake hands at the end of the game it feels good…. it feels finished….it feels like it is time to go home….even you, coach John and the refs were friends again…..”
After a couple of years of these observations I now find myself looking for a deeper meaning of his musings. They are becoming ever easier to find.
I began thinking, how many times in life should we just shake hands and move on to the next game? We are all human beings and there are always times in life when we just won’t see things the same way and disagree vehemently on issues. I guess getting older, I now realize there is one side, the other side, and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. Whether it has been in business or family or even with friends, I know I have been guilty of not being able to shake hands, move on and live for the future the way I really should have. We have all been guilty of that. There really has been a lot of wasted negative energy. I wish there are things I could have done differently as I am sure you feel the same way.
Recently, there has been a lot of local coverage of the upcoming Winter Classic Hockey Game and Alumni Hockey Game being held here in Philadelphia. One of the interesting storylines of the game is that Bob Clarke and Eric Lindros will be participating in the game together and the implied mending of the fences of their supposed rocky relationship. If you are a hockey fan you have probably heard all the story lines and history of what had happened or supposedly happened. Who really knows and it really is not that important anymore.
I had the pleasure of playing for Bob when he was a General Manager with the Flyers and also playing with Eric on the same team for a season. They are both fiercely intense and bona fide Hockey Hall of Fame caliber hockey greats. They played extremely hard, and they apparently had extremely rigid differences of opinions at times. But guess what? It took some time but it looks like they shook hands and have agreed to move on to a more positive way. At one time both were captains and considered exceptional leaders. It looks like they still are.
Ok, now moving back from the Greats to the Mites.
My son and I were watching the news the other night during dinner and there was coverage of our military engaged in some battle in Afghanistan. He looked at me and asked, “Dad, those guys have Generals, we are Generals….why can’t they be just like us, shake hands like we do, end it, and everyone go home????”  
There are some conflicts that can’t be settled with a hand shake but most of ours can and should be. In the end most of them are really not that important.
So shake hands, because like my son said, “it feels good…. it feels finished….it feels like it is time to go home….”

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