December 6, 2017: On Saturday, Dec. 2 my alma mater, N.C. State University, hosted South Carolina State in a basketball game. Midway through the first half, basketball ceased to matter. As reported by The News & Observer, “One second, South Carolina State basketball player Ty Solomon was talking with a teammate about a defensive mistake and the mounting deficit on the scoreboard against N.C. State. The next second, without any warning, he collapsed.”
The game stopped, PNC arena went silent, and the entire college basketball world zeroed in on the events happening in Raleigh. According to The News & Observer, Tyler Long, a South Carolina State team trainer, quickly started to administer CPR, while Wake County emergency medicine services personnel used an automated external defibrillator on Solomon. The teams huddled, and audible prayers were heard in the otherwise quiet arena. NCSU Coach Kevin Keatts went to SC State Coach Murray Garvin’s side to console and pray with him. Thankfully, Solomon was revived, transported to Rex Hospital, and now seems to be in good condition. Wolfpack nation and the entire college basketball world were praying for him. Ultimately, South Carolina State’s players voted to return to the court and finish the game.
Situations like the one that transpired at PNC Arena on Dec. 2 tend to put things into their proper perspective. Wolfpack guard Torin Dorn summed it up this way: “We weren’t even worried about basketball anymore. It was more just concern for that kid and his family and hoping that he’s all right. You try to lose yourself in the game. But when something like that happens, you forget all about basketball and worry about life.”
When something like that happens, you forget all about basketball and worry about life. This is a valuable lesson — one that can be applied by those who live and work in the arena of politics and government.
All too often, people in the political world become so wrapped up in their pet projects, geographic and other rivalries, and ongoing arguments that they lose perspective. They become so consumed by finger-pointing, name-calling and winning social media arguments (if that is even possible) that they forget that those with whom they disagree are real people. People with jobs, businesses and families. People who live and work in the same communities as themselves.
As we enter the holiday season, let us all take time to put things into their proper perspective and remember that those we deal with are real people. Just like us.