Saturday, October 1, 2011

Moneyball. (Anne)

I saw Moneyball with a friend today. I'm an Aaron Sorkin fangirl, and he co-wrote the screenplay, and I'm a baseball fan, so it met the litmus test for being worth the price of matinee admission.

It didn't have the typical pizazz of a Sorkin script, but near the end of the film, the statistician shares a metaphor with the General Manager, Billy Beane.

He shows Beane footage of a minor league catcher—way overweight for baseball standards with an admitted fear of going to 2nd base. He's at bat, hits a perfect pitch, and can tell from the contact that he hit it well. So he takes the leap. He approaches first and we see him round the base to head to 2nd.

And he falls down.

He belly crawls back to first, because he doesn't want to be tagged out. Head in the dirt, he clings to the base, almost hugging it, despite the first baseman and the first base coach tugging at him, motioning for him to get up. He was so focused on staying safe at first base that he didn't see he had hit a home run.

In the movie, the metaphor was intended to persuade Beane to take a lucrative contract in Boston. But the metaphor wasn't lost on its applicability in my own life. I have this great career. People with whom I work respect me. I chair a committee that can affect true change. I write in my spare time. I teach piano lessons, raising a piano army for church. And I do a million other valuable things with my time.

But sometimes, my face is in the dirt and I'm belly crawling to first base, believing that I'm not valuable if I'm not married—and I can't be bothered to see all the home runs I'm hitting.

So. The next time you trip and fall into the self-esteem spiral that often accompanies being single and LDS, look up, as Elder Cook counseled Saturday afternoon in Conference.

Look up and see what you just knocked out of the park.