By Jon Metzgar (@JonnyMet1)
On Day One of my journey to Chennai, I wrote about what I was leaving behind in order to come here for two weeks. Now, on my last day before the flight home to Boston, I’m writing about what I am taking home with me.
The first thing I’m taking home with me is a new gratefulness. Although I am already a grateful kid, there’s always room for improvement in this characteristic, and my gratefulness will be shown for everything I am blessed to have. What makes me want to bring home this gratefulness is the idea of how grateful the kids I coached here are for everything they receive. These kids are so grateful for each thing they receive, no matter how big or how small the thing is. For example, when Xavier, a 17 year-old kid who has one of the greatest hearts a kid can have, rolled his ankle while playing 1-on-1 with me after camp one day, he looked like he needed to stop playing for a little bit. When I noticed this right away, I did the easy task of getting him two chairs; one to sit on, and one to elevate his ankle on. Thinking this was no hard favor to do for Xavier, I couldn’t believe what his reply to my action was. With his thankful heart, he said “God Bless You”. This was an amazing thing to hear from a kid, especially when all I did was get him chairs to help heal his ankle.
The second thing I’m taking home with me is a no-taking-for-granted attitude. I never liked taking anything for granted before I left for my trip here to Chennai, but after seeing how grateful the kids were for each thing they received, I knew that taking things for granted in my own life was coming to an end. This is part of my make-up to not take shortcuts with things, but seeing the kids make the most of their limited gym time for these two weeks really helped me change my attitude on how I will try my hardest to not take anything for granted anymore.
The last thing I’m taking home with me is my improved view on the sport I love, basketball. As I have been playing basketball literally my whole life, I have come to love it more than almost anything. However, like many other passions, there may be times where the ‘taking-for-granted’ of something comes into effect. Unfortunately, I have experienced times of this during my lifetime career playing basketball, but I know that my love for the best sport in the world is going to guide me to keep working hard all the time while playing the game, and it will also keep me watching basketball for the rest of my life.
I can’t even begin to go on about how influential these kids (especially the Teach For India kids) are to my own life, an idea that I didn’t think would happen during this trip. It’s unbelievable to think about how I am a hero to them, but really, these kids are the ones who are changing my life forever.
Thanks again Coach,