Phillip and I got the opportunity to teach inner city kids the game of hockey on Thursday at Kirkpatrick Community Center in Nashville. It was my first time going and it really was a great experience. The kids were truly fantastic.
From the moment we brought out all of the equipment, the kids were fired up and ready to play. We taught them what a breakaway was, how to shoot and pass, and really just had fun with them. The kids had a blast. They were running around playing with each other, and warmed up to us like we were a part of their family.
We did have one injury on the day(Phillip got hit in the shin with a plastic puck and whined like a little girl) but it was all worth it. Pretty soon, the kids wanted to play a game. So, we proceeded to split them up and started playing a game. I'll tell you, some of them have some game. They were running around and deking and shooting and really just having the time of their lives.
The thing that stood out to me was the heart these kids have. No matter what they do, they just try to enjoy themselves. Everywhere you looked, their were smiles on the faces of the children. At the end of the day, that's really what it's all about. The heart of a child is truly a wonderful thing. They're willing to be friendly with anyone and they want to have as much fun and joy as they can. I originally went their intending to teach them a game, but I left with something that I didn't bank on happening. The kids really put things in perspective for me. Life really is about having fun and doing things that make you, and other people, happy. I think that's a lesson all of us can learn. No matter how old you are, you can always make a positive impact on somebody's life.
We can learn from these kids. We can all show the same care and compassion to each other as the kids show to everyone. We can all have more fun in our lives and do things for other people. Bringing other people joy will bring you more joy than maybe you had previously even thought possible. Learn from these kids. They're not under the best of circumstances. None of them have some of the luxuries that I have, or that most of us have. But all they want to do is have fun. Hockey provides them with that. Hockey is a game for all people and all ages, and what I saw Thursday proved that.