Think of the word lost or the phrase taken away. Both the word and the phrase imply and even suggest that whatever has been lost or taken away belonged to the speaker. The thing lost or taken away is spoken of as a possession, so the removal of it is an unjust act, making the speaker a victim.
I hear and read this sentiment often today. Athletes and viewers of them are the ones to most often use the word or phrase. For instance, a high school football player in a town near me can be heard saying, “We’ve lost our senior year. It’s been taken away from us.” Last spring graduating seniors and even adults would lament how those seniors had lost their graduation, prom, and beach week.
The language used is full of pity seeking and like all pity, it is a wrongful, self-serving emotion. None of these young people and their supporting adults had ownership of a sport season. Just because they played baseball or lacrosse does not give them ownership. They, like the graduates, coaches, parents, and more are participants, not owners. A season cannot be owned. A season is just that, a time on the calendar, and it is not even capitalized to give it importance because it will come, then fade into the next one. The glory of cross-country fades into wrestling which folds into track and field. One after the other. They cannot be owned anymore than air. But the language of some of our put-out children, helicopter parents, coaches, and teachers attempts to gain support by presenting themselves as victims of an unjust deed meant to harm them.
The pandemic which has caused such distribution across the world is much more consequential than a “lost” sports season. Yet, some colleges and high schools in North Carolina are conducting workouts for football as if all the death and misery and danger is not present in a high rate of our population. The NBA has invented a “bubble” so it can make money while viewers watch grown men throw and shoot a ball. The NFL will somehow have a season, and baseball is happening. All of this way of seeing justified satisfaction for our lives seeps down to colleges and high schools. We have a right, we seem to be saying, even in the middle of this COVID-19 pandemic.
To be an athlete in or viewer of any sport is to be a participant. Being a participant requires that you owe the sport, it does not owe you anything. You choose to be in it. So, stop whining about losing something that was never yours or of something that you did not own being taken away. The pandemic happened to you, and it happened to the world.
Put on your big person pants and do something to help.