Yesterday was Media Day in Arizona, a day during the week preceding the Super Bowl in which players are obligated to speak to the Press and answer the questions. One player, named Marshawn Lynch hates speaking to the media more than a little light grey field mouse hates cats. Marshawn has been fined many times for his refusal to speak to the media, so yesterday, he had the great idea to show up for the required time, and just repeat the same line, over, and over, and over again. The line he decided to use was, "I'm just here so I won't get fined." So the interview went something like this: "Marshawn, did you eat your Wheaties this morning?" "I'm just here so I won't get fined."
"What are your thoughts on world hunger? "I'm just here so I won't get fined." "What are your thoughts on the Patriots illegally deflating footballs." "I'm just here so I won't get fined."
While quite entertaining and amusing to watch, I wanted to explore his choice of wording, "I'm just here so I won't get fined." What he really means is, "It is a darn shame I have to be here right now. I would rather be watching reruns of Full House for the fourth time than be here right now. Heck, I would even rather be watching an UnAmerican sport such as soccer right now. One thing I know, is that I do NOT want to be here now, and the only reason I am is to avoid a financial penalty."
While Marshawn has got some serious football skills, I think this attitude is a terrible one. But it is an attitude that I think many of us are guilty of. How many of us go to work every day for no other reason than the fact that we have to, or else we will be fired, and then have no money, and then have to beg for food and sleep on the streets? I used to have to take a commuter train to work every day, and 98 percent of my copassengers looked more miserable than the good folks from Green Bay looked last week after the Great Debacle. How many times have you told a person, innocently inquiring about your well being, "I'm okay, I guess I am surviving." Surviving is what Robinson Curusoe tried to do on a desert island. We spend most of our lives working. G-d forbid we should do something that we hate, something that we dread waking up for everyday. As a great rabbi says, it's time that we stop surviving, and start living.