Sandra and I were in Lawrence for the state championship of the 5th grade football league this past week-end. The Hoisington team represented themselves and our community very well. I got some really good photographs. It is a special time for these budding athletes who still appreciate a mom’s hug and their family support. The coaches donate a huge amount of time and effort for these kids. It is an expensive endeavor to travel as much as is required, and I give a “shout up” to those families that haul, feed and sleep these guys.
Attending the games, I noticed and appreciated the gesture of “taking a knee” when one of the opposing athletes had an injury or issue. I think that moment of respect should be continued at the high school, college and professional level because a significant injury can be a career-ending event for a player and terminate a segment of his life. At the higher levels of competition, coaches call a huddle and plot some way to take advantage of the injury. I hope and truly believe that some perceptive college coach will reinstate the taking-a-knee gesture and start a movement in the college ranks. The gesture is a way of saying “We are civilized human beings competing in a game-- not a war despite how some people think of a football game.
Someone once said “Every man has to go to war, and every woman has to have a baby” in one form or another. Veterans Day reminded us of the folly of some aspect of that thought.
How does this relate to our Marsh? Think of the endangered Whooping Cranes, Snow Leopards, Condors, and other birds and animals. Nations of the world and lots of individuals have “taken a knee” for these creatures, protecting them when they can’t protect themselves and are at their most vulnerable. That is what makes humans special, while in the wild, it is survival of the fittest and very often “taking a knee” would be fatal. We, as civilized people, should stay on high alert for the opportunity to “take a knee”. Next time it might be us.
Doc Witt is a retired physician and nature enthusiast.