Updated: Aug 17, 2020
On Friday, the MHSAA announced (with less than two weeks before the first game) that high school football will be postponed until spring. While most people have been supportive of these high schoolers and the heartbreak that they are going through, I’ve seen a lot of comments that it’s “just” a game. It has made me question how and when we as a society began thinking that we have a right to decide how others should or do feel. Sure, maybe to you, or even me it’s “just” a game or a “part” of life, but to some teenagers, it IS their life. To some, it’s a way to college and they’re now left with the burden of wondering if they’ll be able to get a scholarship or even go to college. For some, it’s a stress reliever after facing more trauma than you or I could ever understand or imagine. For some, it’s what inspires them to go to school and get good grades or even wake up and get out of bed in the morning. For others, their team and coaches are their families because they may not have a family or a family who is involved. Regardless of the situation, not you, or me, and surely not a random stranger gets to decide how they “should” feel. Just because it’s how you feel, doesn’t mean it’s how someone else feels.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve seen people giving their unwanted opinions on how someone else “should” feel. “It’s just a dance.” Maybe prom was “just” a dance to you, but to some, they waited years to get to go to prom and then didn’t get to go. “It’s just a few weeks of staying home.” Maybe to you or me, but to some people, they need to get out of the house for their mental illnesses, or they have to go to work to provide for their families. “It’s just a gym.” Well, not to everyone. To some, the gym is the place that keeps them sane, where they get to release their stress or emotions, or where their family is at. I know that there are too many examples to list here, but the main point is that everyone has different feelings and emotions and that’s something we all need to accept.
To some their lives revolve around their teams, their church, their sport, their jobs, working out, traveling, etc. Sure, most of us understand that Covid-19 is serious and should not be taken lightly, but it does not mean that we can’t feel sad, mad, upset, or any other type of way about huge parts of our lives being postponed or canceled. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s easy to judge and say how we feel on a subject, but just because it’s how we feel it doesn't mean it’s how someone else feels. Until you’ve walked a day in someone else’s shoes, understand that you don’t get to decide how they “should” feel.