Monday Editorial: The Importance of Existence

Texas Rangers third baseman plays with his children, including Camila, 3, left, AJ, 6, center, and Cassie, 9, right, after  the Texas Rangers spring training camp workout in Surprise, AZ  on Sunday, February 17, 2013. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

The Monday Editorial is a new weekly feature coming to ShutDown Inning. Monday mornings will feature editor Samuel Hale writing about something more macro than usual. It will mostly be about baseball. 

In December, I had the pleasure of attending one of my best friend’s bachelor party. It was six of us in a condo on Lake Granbury for a weekend. The place was walking distance from downtown, while possessing a beautiful view of the lake at any given time. If you’ve never been, I recommend it. Just another one of the many beauties our state contains.

Our last night there around 2 AM, with everyone else in bed, I took a glass of water out to the patio. The night air chilled me as the wind kicked up, causing some choppy waters on the obsidian lake. Some lights from boat slips, other houses, even the moon cast pale glows in the distance. I don’t remember how long I sat there; I put my phone away save for taking a single photo.

Sitting there felt like a spiritual experience. There wasn’t a television blaring, a human talking, a social media notification, none of the distractions that occupy our daily lives. For those minutes, it was simple.

It was beautiful.

I remember sitting there feeling at peace. In those moments, nothing ate at me. Nothing bothered me. I enjoyed the most basic pleasure: existence.

We don’t do a good job of enjoying existence enough. In baseball or life.

Just look at the recent posts here at SDI. They’re mainly about what the Texas Rangers can improve upon, how they can strive to become more efficient or proficient. We pontificate on which players should play more or less, or which we want to see come from another team to Texas. We take pride in doing it well, and enjoying bringing it to you every week.

It’s rare that we pause, looking at what’s great right now. The team is 20 and 5 over their 25, and are 20 games over .500 since April 26th(35-15). By the numbers they’re playing the best baseball in team history. Yet we don’t stop to appreciate it or marvel at it. We keep moving onto to what’s next, eschewing what’s now.

It’s the same in life. Our conditioning is such that we’re always looking for what’s ahead. The next material thing, bill to pay, or some existential worry is never far away. It’s always something pushing us forward faster than needed. It’s the attrition of our hustle and bustle existence. Never enough time to stay where we are, only enough propel us away from what we should be appreciating.

Not that these are bad things. If we didn’t write about how the Rangers could get better, we’d be doing a disservice to our readers. Just as if we never had goals or looked forward in life, the great society we have wouldn’t be great. It’d be stuck in a malaise of mediocrity.

That said, I implore everyone to embrace simplicity once in a while, both in baseball and life.

Sometimes we need to focus on Texas being the best team in the AL, instead of hitters going through a slump or the overuse of bullpen pitchers.  That discussion will always be there; it’s a long season after all.

We need it for life also. For a few minutes, put away the things eating at you. I promise they’ll still be there when you’re done enjoying things that aren’t. Enjoy your partner, your kids, your car, or even the simplest of them all: that you’re alive.

Now more than ever, appreciating the simplicity of our lives is important. We live in an age where your existence can be ripped away in the blink of an eye or the pull of a trigger. So push the pause button on life. You don’t have to do it for long for it to matter. A brief pause can make a large difference.

Those moments will be there whether you observe them or not. Why waste them when you don’t have to?

On Lake Granbury at night. You can't see what I do. That's a bit what I like about this photo.

A photo posted by Samuel Hale (@thesamuelhale) on

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Samuel Hale
When Samuel isn't displeasing you with his opinions about the Texas Rangers, he's trying to corral young broadcasters at UTA Radio. If you buy him pizza and high class chocolate milk, he'll probably be your best friend. Probably. He got to see Texas clinch a World Series berth in person, and sports cried when Pudge Rodriguez went into the Rangers Hall of Fame. He enjoys the Oxford comma and over tweeting.

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