Thought For The Day – Thursday 12th January 2023
Last week, there was an inspiring story that showed community.
Although this example, because of its situation became very widely known, it is a case study of community shown in less well known, but equally important and inspiring, situations.
The word community comes from the Latin words communitas and communis, which mean the same, common, public, shared. In community, we care for others, as we would wish to be cared for.
Damar Hamlin is a professional American footballer who plays for the Buffalo Bills. In a game on Monday of last week, after making a regulation tackle, Damar collapsed. Heroic medical staff at the scene acted immediately, before Damar was taken to hospital for further wonderful and inspirational round-the-clock care.
Community was shown by all. Coaches and players, who were very emotional, formed a protective circle on the field around their brother. Coaches led their players on the field in prayer for Damar. In Cincinnati, where the game was played, all the over 65,000 supporters in attendance were immaculately behaved, showing respect throughout, with no one leaving until the game was rightly cancelled. In the days after, all were united in “praying for 3”, Damar. “This was bigger than football” was a phrase said by many. People learnt that Damar, a second year professional, aged 24, as a school student had a paid job to support his family, after doing his homework, often finishing at midnight. As he grew up, Damar believed in appreciating, loving and cherishing, and giving back to, everyone, speaking about the importance of neighbourhood. A charity toy drive, set up by Damar for children in his home city of Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, had the target for $2500 but, in the aftermath of last Monday evening, donations exceeded $8 million. Damar’s jersey became best-selling, with proceeds going to his charity.
After waking up, after several days, in hospital, the first words Damar wrote down were: “Did we win the game?”. The doctors replied: “Yes, Damar. You won. You won the game of life.” When Damar communicated with his team the day after, he told them he loved them. On Sunday, Damar watched from his hospital bed as the Bills, inspired by Damar, ran it back and scored right from the kick off. Yesterday, after his biggest of interceptions, Damar left hospital to continue his recovery and rehabilitation at home. Damar Hamlin will continue to spread love and inspiration to all.
As Damar says: “When you put real love out there into the world it comes back to you three times as much…If you get a chance to show some love today, do it. It won’t cost you nothing.“