The NFL draft is one of the most exciting aspects of football to me. I remember watching the 1994 draft and seeing college highlights of a quarterback who I hoped would be able to duplicate his success in the NFL. With the third pick in the draft the Oilers took the exciting quarterback Steve “Air” McNair. He had the name “Air” because he shattered all I-AA passing records at the little known university named Alcorn State. Watching his career blossom the way it did, taught me much on how to live life. First, his career taught me to honor my path. Sometimes I want success now. I see the work that I have done and wonder, “Why isn’t it happening yet?” I think of McNair as a person who sat on the bench for a few years before becoming one of the best players in the NFL. Another lesson is to accept success the way that it is. McNair didn’t light up the scoreboards like he did in college andhis career was most likely not how he envisioned it would be Instead of lighting up the scoreboards with his arms, he used his legs, leadership, play making ability and sheer determination to become one of the best players in the league. McNair’s career taught me how to get through tough times. There are few players in the NFL that have played through more injuries than McNair. He even had a Jackie Chan inspired poster showing off his many injuries. His ability on the football field and his toughness is how I will remember him.
This tragedy o f his death reminds me of the mistakes that people can make. One of my strongest beliefs is that happy and joyful people who are living good lives do not purposely harm other people. On July 4 a tortured individual named Sahel Kazemi allegedly put two bullets in his chest and two in his head. I call her tortured because only a person who is tortured would kill commit this act. It is times like these where we need to look to people and not discount the torture that we put ourselves through. Torture like the destructive thoughts that will lead people like Kazemi into actions that cause people so much pain. To give compassion to people who torture themselves into actions such as murder and suicide is not an action of weakness and is not condoning their actions. An action that harms another person is not something to be condoned. No one who is in their right mind will do such a thing. No one deserves to be in a space where an action such as this seems like a good idea.
To learn from this and find ways to prevent it in the future will bring more closure to this tragedy and help prevent other actions that harm others. To judge and to hate will just help create more of these actions. We can give answers such as, “this is the devil’s work” or if you are new age, “the ego or pain body.” Once we as a society judge people as evil or insane, we close the door on solutions and open the door for pain and suffering. One gift we have as humans is a deep compassion for all beings. It is times like this where we must go deep inside and find the part of ourselves that may snap one day. We need to give that part of us compassion and to make sure that we as individuals create a support structure where we have someone to lean on so we do not make such damaging actions. We need to learn to love ourselves and give love to others and to have compassion to the poor souls.
In the graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke, the Joker has a theory that all it takes is one horrible day to change someone from living a life of love and service into living a life of insanity. Joker is the perfect villain for Batman because they are polar opposites. Joker and Batman were both regular people who had just one bad day that changed their lives forever. One went on to become a crime fighter and another one went on to become the Clown Prince of Crime.
During bad times we always have a choice. We can make a choice that will bring pain to many people including ourselves and our loved ones or we can take that pain and learn from it and use it to bring more love into this world. The choice is ours. Kazemi made the wrong choices with her pain and she paid with her life and we all paid with the death of a man who brought so much positivity into this world. My heart goes out to her and her loved ones. My heart goes out to the friends and family of Steve McNair. My love shines through all our hearts.
I dedicate a prayer to all those who have been touched by this tragic event. May the holes left in all of your hearts be filled with love and good acts.
I dedicate a prayer to all people who are about to make the worst mistakes of their lives. May love bring them pause and may they listen to their second thoughts.
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- Remembering Steve McNair; One Year After His Death (bleacherreport.com)
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- McNair remembered on one-year anniversary of his death (nfl.com)