I was at a college basketball game recently with some friends. We arrived early, and as we enjoyed the pre-game warmup, two young boys came up the steps and took their seats right in front of us. They were probably seven or eight years old. Both were wearing jerseys of the home team and were clearly very fired up to have such good seats. (And yes, they were accompanied by an adult.)
It was a great game, and the crowd was into it. As you probably know, during the TV timeouts there is usually something happening. Some contest involving a couple of fans, recognizing someone for an accomplishment, etc. In the middle of the second half the jumbo screen showed a uniformed police officer. He was being recognized for his work and it was specifically mentioned that he was a hostage negotiator.
All of a sudden, one of the boys tapped me on the arm.
He said, “Hey, that’s my Dad.”
I was pretty surprised. I said, “Really? You’re Dad’s a hostage negotiator?”
“Yes, “ he proudly replied.
Then he turned back around and kept watching the screen. His Dad waved to the camera, and everyone clapped in appreciation of his service.
I just stood there and smiled for a minute. There’s not much better than witnessing a child’s love and admiration for their parent.
In spite of all the negativity in society today, service still matters. Honor, integrity and setting a good example still matter. And even with so much time spent staring at electronic devices, little people still watch us. That policeman will probably never know about this moment. But I do, and so do all of us who were seated there. May we all be as lucky as this father and son are.