“I’m not really religious but very spiritual. I give money to this company that manufactures hearing aids on a regular basis. More people should really hear me sing. I have a gift from God”
As a young man growing up, I played high school basketball in Arizona with a forward named Dave. After our senior year season concluded, my hometown had a contest to settle the murmur of who was Tucson’s top high school dunker that year. Any player who had the athleticism and courage to compete would enter an electric high school gym brimming with anticipation and judgment. More people attended the dunk contest than any of our actual games … a hero’s setting if there ever was one. Well, one such boy with a thirst for glory was my teammate Dave.
I must admit I was shocked to see Dave that night as a contestant as he warmed up for the aerial battle. I had never seen him dunk once in all the years we played together. Not in warmups, not with a tennis ball, not in my limited teenage imagination ever. As such, in spite of the energy of thousands of high school kids and too much green polo cologne wafting the air, Dave didn’t dunk that glorious, warm spring night either. Each attempt fell just shy of being identified even faintly as a dunk. While Dave didn’t walk away from that night winning a dunk contest, he did achieve immortality becoming Dunking Dave forevermore to me and my teammates.
It’s funny how memory and inspiration works sometimes, triggered by any set of winks from the universe twinkling all around us if we look for it. Dunking Dave was a long-forgotten story for me that I recently untangled from my memory jungle and it makes me smile. Not all action requires certainty of result in advance of that action, nor does the result even define success sometimes.
As we unpack and reorganize the unprecedented boxes of opportunities our world today presents, I encourage the support of creative problem solutions with safety by our volunteer boards, committees, and teams, regardless of whether it is an actual slam dunk or a miss. As a siren of sound inspires, faith and perspective can open each of us to a newer, better world if we remain open to its possibilities of success.
Keep dunking, Dave,