Silent Heroes

Something happened a few months ago that got me thinking about the essence of teams and how we often underestimate the silent contributors.
Lincoln and Charlie, two of my sons, were part of a travel baseball team. They were passionate, played hard and like most kids, loved to win.
One day, very late in the season, Lincoln fell ill with strep, and he was gutted about possibly missing a tournament.
But, we didn't want to risk other kids getting sick. So, we opted to keep him home.
Their team went on and clinched the championship!
A few weeks later at the award ceremony they were each gifted these rings—a gesture more symbolic than anything else. And to my surprise, the coach handed one to Lincoln.
On the way home, Charlie, ever the critical thinker, chimed in, "Dad, why did Lincoln get a ring? He wasn’t there!"
To be fair, he had a point. But Lincoln, even in his absence, was very much the heartbeat of that team. He practiced with them every day and was a great teammate all season long.
I thought of those pro athletes who, despite their injuries or being traded, still get a championship ring. They might not be center stage, but they're pivotal in their own ways.
Trying to convey this to Charlie, I said, "Sometimes it's not just about being in the limelight, but the spirit you bring to the team." I’m not sure that was good enough for Charlie, but he didn’t press, perhaps seeing the joy in his brother’s eyes.
This whole situation was a lesson in humility for me. It reminded me that victories aren’t just the product of those in the spotlight. There are always silent heroes, cheering from the sidelines or working behind the scenes.
A team's strength isn’t just defined by its stars, but by every soul that believes in its vision. In life, it's not about claiming credit but understanding and valuing everyone's role, even when it's unseen.
We're all in this game together, and every effort, big or small, deserves its own kind of ring.