People often ask me how long I will continue playing lacrosse at the professional level. And given that I’m not making millions of dollars doing so, there are a lot of factors that contribute to that decision. But one thing I told myself, long before I reached a point where I actually felt the need to think about it, was that I’d play as long as I was physically able to play at the level that I was playing; as long as I was able to keep doing on the field, what I was used to doing.
My off the field experiences over the last 9 years have given me a great deal of appreciation for my on field experiences. How so? More than anything else, I’ve realized that not everybody has the opportunity to do what I do. I get paid to do something that I’ve enjoyed doing as far back as I can remember. Most people will never experience that from an occupational standpoint. But it goes deeper.
Major League Lacrosse pays me during the summer to run around on a field playing a sport for two and half hours, while some people in this world, in this country, in our very own communities do not have the opportunity to walk. Because of my talents, I’ve been on ESPN, and I have videos on YouTube, while some people do not own TVs, or computers, or do not have internet access. Because of my talents, I had the opportunity to earn an Ivy League degree, while some people never have the opportunity get a quality elementary or secondary education.
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” Each and every one of us is talented and it’s our responsibility to use those talents. Your talents may not look like the next person’s. Your talents may not pay you handsomely. But you were born with certain gifts that you have cultivated into talents along the way. It’s up to you how you use your talents. Whether it’s to create a multi-million dollar business, to help a kid learn to read, or to sing the church choir, do not waste your talent. USE IT. That’s a form of gratitude.