There were three of them.
And even though they’re still physically standing…they’re gone.
It was a place families brought their children…
A place that brought a community together…
A place that had what sounded like an air raid siren go off at 6pm every night…still to this day.
And a place that is today missed by those who lived there.
What I’m talking about are the baseball fields that I used to play little league baseball on.
They’re the fields that all the kids who lived in my housing development where I grew up played baseball on…but no more.
I just recently found out that the Madison Park Little League is long gone. It was taken over by mostly people from out of town…who did away with the little league.
And with it a tradition that was started back in 1955.
After I heard about this…I was surprised…because here you have a housing development of a little over 700 houses…that has its own church….it’s own elementary school…it’s own first aid rescue…it’s own fire department…and it’s own little league.
The church was refurbished…as was the elementary school…the fire department next to the baseball fields is still there…but the little league was let go.
And all of this had me thinking about keeping the tradition alive…not just with the little league I played 6 years in that’s no more…
But with life in general.
With these thoughts the question that came up was…
How can you bring the tradition back to your life?
1. Taking over or taking under- There was an annual tradition that took place with the little league every May. It was a parade that took place on opening day. It started at the church, which was 2 blocks from where I lived, and went all the way to the baseball fields…about one mile away.
This was a tradition that brought out the kids, their families, and even the people out of their house to watch on.
Whether you were interested in little league baseball or not, it still brought together the community on that day.
Now I know this may sound like some local thing. However, it still involved a tradition of a close knit community.
Think about your own life.
What is it in your life that has this type of tradition. It doesn’t need to be something that has to do with little league baseball. It can be something in your own town, a social club you belong to, your career, or perhaps seasonal events you love going to.
Ask yourself, “how much of the tradition is still alive in these for me…how much of that tradition can we keep while at the same time moving forward?”
You don’t need to get rid of an entire tradition of something. It’s a matter of taking over whatever it is you’d love to keep alive, while at the same time keeping it fresh and moving forward…
Because it’s either that or you’ll have someone else come in and take it over.
This is what happened with the Madison Park Little League.
And it’s the same thing that will happen in any area of your life that you don’t empower.
I mentioned change a moment ago.
This is certainly important.
At the same time it’s important to preserve the history because without the history how can you even allow anything…to include yourself…to evolve and grow?
Those who come in and take over, many times do so while in the process “wiping out” any remnants of the past…the history…of what made something special in the first place.
It’s understandable at times why someone would do this…however at the same time it still goes back to what got you there…the history.
And this is all about keeping the tradition alive.
As it relates to your life…the same thing…which leads into why you’d want to do this.
2. Fields of dreams- The last time I was at my old little league baseball fields was back on January 6, 2012. On this particular day I took a walk on to the main field…which seemed quiet and desolate.
It also seemed alive…especially when you consider what I was thinking about while walking across that field.
I remembered the baseball games I played there back when I was 11 and 12. I still remember some of the plays…the one All Star game I played in…the coaches…the kids I met…the friends that were made.
It also brought to mind some of the traditions…such as the concession stand right behind home plate…which is still there in structure…but gone in function. When in function it served as the place where we would get sodas and candy.
It also served as a place where some of the moms would volunteer and help out…which added more to the tradition of what this little league brought to a community.
And yes, the firehouse with it’s daily 6pm air raid type siren is still there.
See, back then the kids didn’t need the cell phones or text messages as a reminder to get home for dinner…we had the 6pm siren…the same siren that was deafening if you happened to be the team playing at 6pm that night.
What also came to mind while walking across these fields were the dreams that kids have of being a baseball player.
To most that would never happen.
It still gave a young kid reason to believe that it could. And even if it didn’t turn out to be baseball, it still gave an opportunity for a kid to believe in doing something that’s most important to them…something that’s near and dear to their heart.
Now even though the little league is gone, the fields do remain. So whether it’s the Madison Park baseball fields or something that’s near and dear to you…it’s still a matter of keeping that dream you have alive…
And especially to give thanks to those people and places during the course of your life that served as a stepping stone for you.
In my case it was playing little league baseball…which led to getting involved in fitness…which led to meeting certain people that become my friends….which led to moving to certain places…which led to what I love doing today.
The same is true for you.
The difference is…what was your field of dreams? What is still your field of dreams?
3. The ballgame of life- Another one of my favorite quotes is fitting right now…which happens to tie in with this entire “balanced tradition.”
First the quote…
“The more things change the more they stay the same.”
This ties in nicely with keeping the tradition alive in your life because it gives you perspective on how to incorporate the “old” which allows for the “new” to take place in your life.
It’s obvious that we as humans crave the “new” and it makes perfect sense…because who wants to remain stale and stagnant…right?
At the same time you also want to preserve some of that “old” which has been part of your life’s journey…because without that how could you possibly evolve and grow?
This now brings up how the quote I just mentioned ties in with having “balanced tradition”…
And it has to do with something that’s familiar to you…the “good old days” mentality.
How many times have you said or heard someone say, “I wish it was like the good old days?”
Because the same people who are craving the “new” and fresh while saying, “oh that was the past” are the same people who frequently wish it was the good old days.”
Even more interesting…
Both of these are needed to some degree in keeping your tradition of life alive.
Whether you’re talking about today…the present…or yesterday…the good old days…each still has an equal amount of benefits and drawbacks…
Each still has the supports and challenges…the pleasures and pains…the things you like and dislike.
The only difference…the way they tie in to what’s most important to you.
I like calling this your “ballgame of life.”
And in your ballgame of life you have a mission of what you’d love to be, do, and have.
Included in your mission are those both sides of life that you, I, and every human being faces day in and day out.
It’s what makes you who you are.
It’s what tests your will to see if you’re living according to what’s most important to you.
It also gets you to get in touch with what your intentions are.
And whether those intentions are to bring the tradition of little league baseball back to a community…or to keep certain traditions within your own family…among your friends…within your business…
Or whatever it is that inspires you most…one thing remains the same…
It comes from the uniqueness of who you are…along with the value you contribute that serves others and humanity.
It involves bringing the history into the inspiring mystery of moving forward.
You never have to give up who you are or what you believe in to make an inspiring impact in the world.
It’s a matter of honoring the magnificence of you…while bring out the magnificence of others…
And in the process you form a new tradition in your life.