For a few days now I’ve thought about how to write this post without sounding like I’m jealous. I actually convinced myself that I wasn’t. Unfortunately, I am. I’m not proud of it… in fact, I hate it. It was like peeling off a layer of myself that revealed an ugly truth. I am a bit of a monster. A green-eyed one, to be exact.
Here’s the source of my issue: the Washington Redskin’s quarterback, Robert Griffin III (a.k.a.RG3).
By all accounts he’s a great guy. Personally, I believe he is a role model and hope he keeps his reputation wholesome. He’s intelligent. He’s humble. He’s athletic. He’s charismatic. He is on-par to be an all-around symbol of goodness (if he would just keep himself away from Twitter, for goodness sake!). You see, I have no problem with him. On the contrary, I’m pulling for him to reach his potential in every aspect of his life.
The story goes something like this. He is getting married this summer. Like most people, he and his finance created a wedding registry gift list for his guests. Somehow this list was picked-up on and made public.
People in Washington, like many other NFL cities, are frenzied about their professional sports teams and players. Many love the Redskins now with a particular passion because of last year’s blush with success, but the true fans did even throughout the past two decades of (frequent) bad play, management, coaching, players, well generally bad… everything! I grew up in central Pennsylvania, but for reasons I don’t even know I have always been a ‘Skins fan. Although, I’ve never been enamored by any particular player throughout all those years. That’s not to say there weren’t more than a few I loved to watch (Mike Sellers, Sonny Jergensen, Charles Mann, Kenny Strong, Pat Fischer, Doug Williams, Ernest Byner, Chris Cooley, and now RG3 to name just a few).
Living in Ashburn, Virginia — the HQ of the Redskins — I met many players.It is always a thrill, but that’s where it stops. I’m not frenzied, but many people are.
Okay, so getting back to Robert Griffin III’s wedding registry and these frenzied fans.
They bought items (intended for his guests) for him. I’m simply not going to guess why because it really doesn’t mean a hoot to me, but they did just the same. Now the media and others are outraged that RG3 got these; after he posted a photo (which I believe was him saying “thank you” and showing enjoyment) with these gifts. They scream “why isn’t this wealthy man donating these to a charity” and doing the right thing? Again, I don’t care what he does with these because, after all, they belong to him and I’m guessing he enjoys getting a gift as much as the next guy. Besides, he’s charitable enough with all he does and gives for so many.
To me, that’s not what’s at issue. It’s the flipping’ wrong point! People seem to have this ass-backwards.
The point is, why in the hell aren’t people gifting those who actually need the help? Sadly, this is where I fight with my jealousy. It’s the “woe is me” mentality that I just can’t shake. From where I sit (just beside Ryan), I can certainly suggest others who would benefit much more… and it makes me so angry… an anger that I don’t deserve to be entitled. Hey, I get it, I’m wrongly pissed. Why should I feel this way without good reason? I’m happy for RG3 (well, at least not resentful), but I’m really put-off by these kindly fans who were just being thoughtful… or looking to have a little fun… or seeing a way to have a good story to tell. Why am I so upset with the good in these people?
It’s something I might have even done myself; based on the fact that I sent President Ronald Reagan and Nancy and invitation to my wedding back in 1986 (they politely declined, but sent us their best wishes on a strangely generic postcard with their photo). You see, it’s a good story! Well, good enough to put in the ole’ scrapbook and show people from time-to-time.
Since I’m laying it all out there, I felt the same way about nine months ago. It was when the older women that was a school bus monitor was being brutally insulted by a couple of punk kids. She was so hurt by their words that she cried, and I had to struggle through their unrelenting bullying. The video went viral and caring people began sending her money, hand-over-fist. The last I heard it was over half-a-million dollars! I was so happy for her, but felt that same way. What’s the word I’m looking for?
Cheated? Yes, cheated, but not exactly.
Haven’t we all experienced this in same form? It’s like losing a raffle prize on the last number called. Or, being one square away from a B-I-N-G-O and hearing another call it out.
So, here’s the cruel answer I came up with causing my jealousy… it wasn’t Ryan they were thinking of when they were caring. There’s nothing worse, in this world, than what happened to him, and it isn’t drawing the same attention as a rich guy getting some gifts or a nice women being shown empathy. How damned shallow is that of me? Remember me saying I sometimes have to reach up to touch bottom? Well, this would be one of those times.
Please, know I am opening-up to you with the hopes that some might be able to explain my feelings. I am begging for some way to resolve this internal conflict within myself. How can it be, that in the face of all that is good, between these giving fans and a grateful RG3 that I am so resentful?
Oh, and if you know Robert Griffin III would you tell him I don’t want his gifts (and I hope he enjoys the living hell out of them)… just the magic to get the same level of attention for Ryan.
Gail Doyle says
Ken, I do believe ,at times ,most of us feel the same as you on this subject of giving. Like Paula said ,Team Diviney will always be here keeping Ryan relevant and doing all we can . Really appreciate your thoughts and honesty .
Cherie Beynon says
You and your sons story/journey is an inspiration to all who read it. I lost two sons lately,,one from cancer the other unexpectantly. I was feeling very down and alone. I had started a Rally for my son, who was at the time fighting his battle with cancer, when I ran across ryans..” We’ve got this” has become our families motto.. please know that you are our hero and I say all the time if you and your family can endure we can.. Thank you for being my hero
Hi Ken, I feel jealous about it too. Well, Ryan may not have the fame of a celebrity, but he does have the steely courage of a hero. Rather than living in the spotlight, Ryan lives a life of quiet dignity and strength that inspires many. I know he desperately needs and should be given the same level of attention and support as the well off souls in the limelight do. It hurts me that this is not the case. But Ryan will always have an abundance of love from all of us. I am putting my faith in the wonderful members of Team Diviney that they will continue to show their support for Ryan through Wish List purchases and financial donations. I’ ve never understood why people lavish sports figures, Hollywood types and even politicians with such adulation. Better to bestow such high status to the real heroes in life….and it’s not those who have more money then they’ll ever need in this lifetime. Don’t judge – I just happen to think a young man who was beaten to the point of near death and now fights every day just to live should be lavished with as much help and attention as possible. Or maybe I just don’t understand the priorities of this world…
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
That’s what fans do! They idolize, and they gift! Sometimes it is these same generous folks who support charities and victims of tragedy.
Now that autocorrect right there is either funny or erie —- noticed it too late.latexes
I give up — latexes? It was not there when I posted!
People are not “fair”, even in their generosity. And they are motivated to give for all sorts of reasons. Celebrity and sports fan(atic)s are infatuated with famous figures and look for ways to celebrate their glory days. Team Diviney supporters (Ryan’s fans) are motivated to care and give to your family any way they can by genuine love, not some passing infatuation. I have a theory that God intends to multiply those gifts, and ultimately to reveal Himself to you as the only One you can always count on to provide for your family, sustain you, and heal Ryan. He wants to replace your feelings of “jealousy” with overwhelming gratitude for His goodness. And, someday, you will celebrate and bask in His glory. But that’s just a theory. Amen?
Glad you feel that you can let it all out to us! Sometimes we can’t help the way we feel…but we can how we act. Karma is on your side in this…maybe not today, tomorrow or even next year…but it will come back around. Stay strong! Ryan is so fortunate to have people that are so dedicated and that love him!
Grey Hubler via Facebook says
Yes folks, I also remember the helmet goal posts, lol. Classic.
I know exactly what you are trying to say. ” Just why the hell didn’t everyone in the world contribute to help Ryan? As a therapist friend once told me, we should allow others to “float their balloons, celebrate and be happy” without us trying to pop them. Its a hard thing to do, but once I started doing this I realized I was a happier person inside. Ken, there are many TBI patients who would love to have the “attention” that Ryan has. You are keeping him going and relevant. He is amazing and so are you!
It’s good to get your resentments out!!