JackieRobinson is a hero to many young people from all over the world. inaddition to being a talented baseball player, Robinson defied all theodds of racialism to become one of the most celebrated personalitiesin the game’s hall of fame. He was player when the game was thoughtto be reserved for the white individuals especially in theprofessional arena (Selden, 2016). I have drawn numerous lessons fromhis life that have buttressed my efforts in life since I have alsoencountered difficulties and countered them.
Tomost people, succeeding in life involves developing the rightattitude to survive in the turbulent paths especially for those whohail from developing countries. There are various hurdles that I haveencountered in life but through my optimistic behavior, I haveemerged victorious most of the times. Jackie Robinson’s life is amodel example of how individuals can achieve their life objectiveswithout giving to social pressure because as an African-American,people would not imagine that he would work his way towards the peakof his talent.
First,going to school was not a luxury for me. In my home country, most ofthe schools are overpopulated, and students do not get enoughattention from the teachers. I was not an exception. Due to theoverwhelming population, the instructors usually target the brightand fast learners usually at the expense of the rather slow students.I was not among the exemplary learners but through my family’sguidance I exploited my average academic capabilities to become oneof the consistently improving learners.
Thiswent on until upper junior school where I discovered that I couldexploit my soccer talent. However, the poorly endowed school did nothave enough balls for everybody. I struggled to get into the schoolteam by displaying my exemplary skills however, priority was givento the students particularly those in their last year of study.
However,by the time I was in the 7th grade, I had already impressed the notso serious games master to include me in the team. I left the schoola contented student with a commendable academic performance and abuttressed talent. Despite the barriers to access quality educationowing to the state of the schools and densely populated classes, Iremained focused and was able to stand out as an all-around student.
Secondly,when we moved to the United States, I was oriented to a completelydifferent culture, and I found it challenging to cope. Particularly,it was difficult to make friends because, having come from a countrywith a conservative culture, I could not make an immediate paradigmshift of tradition. However, I overcame this barrier by learning andobserving how the natives behaved and picked some of the commonhabits and phrases. I have perfected the English language, and beforeI knew it, I was comfortably interacting with a dozen friends.
Ialso came to the United States when racial discrimination wasnon-existent or observed in isolated cases. However, as an individualwith a Black origin, I was not initially comfortable living in aneighborhood dominated by the Whites. It took my self-confidence andpositive encouragement from my parents to overcome the lowself-esteem. I came to learn that the United States also hadAfrican-American citizens who carry out their activities andinteracted with other citizens comfortably without consideringthemselves as inferior. I believe Jackie Robinson and Martin Lutherserved as influential characters in all the years that I have been inthe United States. Their ethnicity did not hold them back inachieving their dreams, and they became key leaders in theirdifferent fields.
Lessonsthat Young People can learn from Jackie Robinson
Youngpeople can learn numerous important lessons in life by reflecting onJackie Robinson’s life. First, they can use their talents toinfluence people’s thoughts beyond their performance in the fieldor any other arena. Most of the times, young people work hard toperfect their careers with the narrow-minded approach to amass wealthand become famous. However, Robinson’s life is an admissibleexhibit that talents can influence the society’s perceptions(Selden, 2016). For example, as a baseball player in the nationalleague,
Robinsonbecame the first African-American to enter the baseball hall of famein the United States (Robinson & Smith, 2016). His achievementsnot only became referenced milestones for other novice baseballplayers but also influenced the civil rights champions to use him asan example of how African-Americans could disintegrate the chains ofracism.
Secondly,Robison’s ambition and fearless determination can be importantlessons for the youth to concentrate on their objectives withoutgiving in to pressure. From his days in school, it was clear thatRobinson had a defined objective of fulfilling his dreams despite theoccasional threats and discouragements (Robinson & Smith, 2016).His parents were sharecroppers in Georgia and with their meager pay,they sent him to college. When Robinson went to UCLA, he became theinstitution`s First Four Letter Athlete excelling in athletics,basketball, football and baseball (Robinson & Smith, 2016).
Mostof the young people do not consider their school life as importantbenchmarks for their future careers. All efforts and ambitions aredirected towards the job market where the learners expect to exploittheir skills. Reflecting on Robinson’s life at UCLA, it is evidentthat exploiting the facilities and supportive environment in schoolcan accelerate one’s dreams if determination and objectivity areput into practice. Students from different spheres including science,sports, arts, and literature and health sciences can borrow from hislife to break their comfort cocoons and make early milestones intheir careers while still in school.
Ina world full of dissenting and dispiriting opinions, individuals canlearn from Robinson’s courage and consistency. Initially, Robinsonwas chosen among a hundred others in an experimental game and lateras one of the first players for Dodgers. However, the coach, BranchRickey, warned him of the expected abuse. Although he was nervous atfirst, he learned to play under pressure from his team members andthe spectators (Robinson & Smith, 2016).
In1947, he played in the major league that attracted more than 14thousand African Americans. Some of the team members presented apetition to stop him from participating in the game. The playerskicked and spat on him while others sent threatening letters. Despitethe catcalls and intimidations, he still continued to play (Robinson& Smith, 2016). If he had given up and bowed to the yoke ofracism, he would probably not been among the most celebrated baseballplayers. Although racism is not persistent today, there are othersources of discouragement and pressure from peers for those whoappear ambitious. The youth can borrow from Robinson’s analogy toremain steadfast in achieving their objectives.
TheMost Pressing Global Issue
Inthe current global situation, there are a myriad of challenges facingthe contemporary society including pollution, terrorism, globalwarming, emergent diseases, political rivalry, economic recessionamong others. Of these, I believe global warming surpasses all theothers since its effects are long-lasting and little is being done tocontrol it.
Overthe past one decade, the international bodies responsible forcontrolling environmental functions have convened various sittings todebate on the way forward towards clean air. Various stakeholdershave also appended their signature to the Kyoto Protocol, The RioEarth Summit, Bonn Agreement, Carpathian Conventional Framework, andBarcelona Convention for Protection against Pollution among others(Barnett, Held & Henderson, 2013). There are various reasons thatmake global warming the most pertinent issue of the 21st century.
First,the concentration of carbon particles in the air is higher than inany other time in history. This has resulted in increasedtemperatures in the world, and this poses a danger to agriculture andpeople`s heath (Barnett, Held & Henderson, 2013). Some of theregions that used to support crop cultivation are gradually turninginto semi-arid areas. In addition, the increased temperature in theArctic is causing a gradual rise in the sea levels.
Thisis enough to raise the alarm since a surge in the sea would result inmassive loss of lives and property especially for the populationsliving near the shores. Besides, the reduced crop production as aresult of prolonged droughts and unpredictable weather patterns hasmade different regions food insecure (Barnett, Held & Henderson,2013). Food shortage is a recipe for crisis and conflicts, and itcannot be addressed by devising short-term remedies. It can only becorrected by addressing global warming through the reduction of thecarbon gasses released into the atmosphere.
Anotherprimary reason that makes global warming the most pressing issue inthe world is that it has increased the burden on healthcare due tothe increased conditions caused by poisonous gasses and ultravioletradiations. According to Barnett, Held and Henderson (2013), thedepletion of the ozone layer has resulted in increased cases ofcancer. In both the first world and developing countries, cancer andirreversible respiratory conditions take huge budget allocations. Theamount of fatalities from the illnesses has also escalated. This robsthe world of a productive workforce that could have contributedimmensely to economic growth.
Inaddition, there is every reason to worry since the member parties arenot making significant efforts to honor the environmental protectionagreement, especially in the developing countries. Since there is nouniversal body to literary enforce the outlined regulations.Therefore, there are numerous loopholes for nations to continuepolluting the environment without considering the effects on theenvironment (Barnett, Held & Henderson, 2013).
Besides,the first and third world countries are at different levels ofindustrial development. When companies in the developed world aremoving towards the use of efficient and renewable energy,industrialization in the poorly developed states are edging towardsthe most polluting methods of production. The antagonistic productionmethods make me believe that the world has a long way to go beforeachieving a clean environment.
Ialso believe that globalization is the most pertinent issue in theworld since its effects are not reversible. Most of the problemsfacing the world can be controlled through the adopting of correctivemechanisms. For example, terrorism can be prevented by avoidingpolitical conflicts and flushing out insurgents. However, thedepletion of the ozone layer is not a reversible process. Inaddition, the rising sea level cannot be corrected (Barnett, Held &Henderson, 2013). As observed by scientists, some animal species thatcannot withstand the escalating temperatures are becoming extinct.When the last of them falls, there is no way to bring back organismsof such specific species. The trend is creating equality in theecosystem.
Forthese reasons, I consider global warming to be the most pertinentissue in the world today. The irreversible damage on the ozone layerand the rising temperature level expose humans to degenerativediseases that lead to massive deaths of productive citizens. Theissue is exacerbated by the imbalance in the application of controlmechanisms. While the developing countries are transforming thirdproduction methods into being more efficient, those in the thirdworld are not doing enough to reduce the level of emissions.
Besides,not all signatories to the international environmental agreementshave ratified the recommend changes (Barnett, Held & Henderson,2013). The lack of a collective responsibility puts the world on thereceiving end of harmful human actions. The gravity of the matterintensifies since the effects of a polluted environment are hittingback on human beings and without a clear stance on the responsibilityof all the governments.
TakingLeadership Roles and Giving Back to the Community
JackieRobinson declared that “A life is not important except in itsimpact on other lives” (Dorinson & Warmund, 2015). This is oneof the statements that I hold true and have used it as a baseline toreflect on the quality of my life. Although leadership is highlyrecognizable in social, political and economic spheres, I believethat it is nurtured in small groupings. Naturally, I am a leader, andpeople have recommended my inherent attributes of responsibility,objectivity and social competence in various guidance positions ingroup discussions and social circles. I got an opportunity to exploitthese skills when I was appointed as a class representative and ateam captain for our local soccer club.
Inclass, students are always I need someone to give them directions andact as their representatives when lodging any form of complaint.However, they are careful not to second an individual with aninsatiable ego who would use the position to exude ignorance. To me,it came as a surprise because I was not among the most vocalstudents. In fact, I had not considered myself fit for the position.The students cited my impartiality and sense of responsibility tosecond me to the teacher. Having overcome the challenges of class andculture, I had grown to appreciate individuals from variousbackgrounds, and I had a battery of friends both in class and in theneighborhood. I, did not, therefore, consider the position as beyondmy capabilities and gladly accepted it.
However,just like any other position where one deals with a big number ofpeople, I discovered that I had to draw a line between the outlinedstudent’s responsibility and friendship as outlined by Ford et al.(2016). I noted that some learners were ready to use the advantage ofour close acquaintance to avoid duties. The induction lessons givenby the school to new monitors came in handy when dealing with suchissues. As a leader, one has to be predictable when it comes tofollowing the duties outlined for all those in his/her group (Ford etal., 2016). I found it an effective idea to inform my friends in acasual manner of their expected responsibilities and the need toattend to them.
Mydemocratic style of leadership with a touch of autocracy earned merespect among my classmates and peers. I also used it as anopportunity to polish my communication skills, confidence and abilityto interact with individuals of different ages. I also noted thatpeople tend to respect individuals who are committed to a givenpurpose without wavering of giving in to pressure.
Ican equate this Jackie Robinson’s baseball career. Although hereceived numerous catcalls and intimidation in the field, he did notgive up. He could not let down the hundreds of African-Americans whohad turned up for the game to watch his spectacular performance(Robinson, 2013). Robinson could have been a great let down to thepeople if he had bowed to the bullying from the white players. Thosewho looked up ti him as a role model respected with perseverance andobjectivity. Similarly, it would be a let down to my classmates andthe trust they had heaped upon me if I did not stand up to the task.
Ialso got a chance to serve as a team captain for our local soccerteam, a position that enabled me to strengthen my social skills. Ihave been playing in the team for a couple of years and apartextending my social circles, it has given me a chance to develop mytalent. I joined the team during its formative stages, and the mostof the members were non-committal. In fact, it was not possible topredict who would show up for practice.
Myregular and objective training led to the rest of the players topropose me for the position of the captain. Together, we draftedinternal rules attending training sessions and participating incompetitions. Interestingly, it appeared like the team members hadalso grown weary of the laxity and they welcomed the move. In thefollowing days, the team was transformed into one of the most activewith tens of request from prospective players.
Givingback to the Community
Throughthe team, I have participated in various communal activities as a wayof giving back to the society. After every three months, weparticipate in a charitable activity involving looking for funds andmaterials which we deliver to relief institutions. We have been in aposition to give food, clothes money, stationery and other in-kinditems to various homeless youths in the neighborhood. As a team, wehave been in a position to approach philanthropic individuals whojoin us in such activities.
Secondly,my family is part of a communal undertaking that participates ingiving donations to various organizations that assists individuals indeveloping countries. At the end of the year, our parents encourageus to give a fraction of our savings, and although this may not havea direct impact on the American society, it touches the lives ofyouths and children living in economically disenfranchised countries.
Inconclusion, I look forwards to achieving my dreams in life in theAmerican society that offers one with endless opportunities. I intendto use my inherent attributes of optimism, perseverance and thelearned values of cultural appreciation, confidence and leadership toget through college and later make an impact in people’s lives.Just like Jackie Robinson, I purpose to make a difference in people`slives by influencing them through my achievements. I believe thatthere are thousands of Americans who hail from foreign countries andhave not fully embraced the American culture. My objective is tobecome a role model for the young people coming to the country byleaving a trail of positive impacts that can be emulated for thegreatness of the American society and the world at large.
Barnett,A., Held, D., & Henderson, C. (Eds.). (2013). Debatingglobalization.Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Deen,L. (2014). Career Voices: The mark of a good leader. USBlack Engineer and Information Technology,38(4),10-12.
Dorinson,J., & Warmund, J. (2015). JackieRobinson: Race, Sports and the American Dream.Routledge.
Ford,J. M., Harding, N. H., Gilmore, S., & Richardson, S. (2016).Becoming the leader: leadership as material presence.
Robinson,J. (2013). BeyondHome Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life After Baseball.Syracuse University Press.
Robinson,J., & Smith, W. (2016). JackieRobinson: My Own Story.Pickle Partners Publishing.
Selden,B. (2016). Jackie Robinson. SportsHeroes.Retrieved fromhttp://myhero.com/hero.asp?hero=J_robinson2_Selden_MS_US_08