Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash
In all great lives we find common elements that we love. Hard work. Dedication to one’s craft. Dedication to family. Service to community. Involvement. Compassion for humanity. As a coach, strategist and online educator helping people become the best version of themselves, stories from around the world compelled me to write a tribute to a great man and leader, Kobe Bryant.
“When you get older you start to understand that really it’s about the next generation. That these championships do come and go. But the most important thing you can do is to pay everything that you’ve learned forward to the next generation to come. And that’s truly how you create something that lasts forever.” –Kobe Bryant’s words in The Lakers’ Tribute video
WHY HAS KOBE’S DEATH MOVED US?
What has ripped our hearts apart and wide open? What is it about this particular loss that has moved the nation and the world? Why is it that we are all feeling compelled to love deeper? We talked about valuing connection. All of a sudden, lingering a little longer with our loved ones wasn’t such an imposition. We were reminded to tell our loved ones that we love them, and to tell them more often. Kindness was the focus. We all showed a little more compassion.
We lose human souls, beautiful human souls, every single day. The loss is never a loss that we want. But there’s something about this story that has caused millions of people to comment, to stop, to cherish, and to talk about their broken hearts. Even those who weren’t sports fans or barely knew Kobe Bryant have been moved by the loss of this great man.
So what is it about the loss of Kobe Bryant that has touched so many lives? Is it a young boy who rose to greatness at just the age of 17? Is it that he was not just a sports hero, but that he had devoted his life to giving back to others? Or is it the fact that he was a family man? A girl’s dad. As he said so affectionately, “I love being a girl’s dad”.
I think it’s all of it.
WE NEED MORE LEADERS LIKE KOBE
We are moved because this man was an underdog. Hhe was such a wonderful father and a devoted husband Yes, he was imperfect. He was an imperfect human being. Just as we all are. But he was a symbol of hope. Of light, possibility, and all that can be in our lives.
He was an inspiration to work harder. To keep on. To rise up when you’re knocked down. And rise up again. He was a man who was dedicated to getting the most out of life in all arenas of his life. As we pay tribute to so many lost lives this past week, let’s all remember what Kobe represents to us.
He represents humanity. He represents the promise that hard work and dedication can pay off and what we can accomplish in our own lives. He’s a reminder to be good, to have fun, to enjoy life, and to not take ourselves too seriously. Kobe inspired us to connect . . . and that connection matters. His leadership inspired us to give our time in service to others.
LET’S DEDICATE OUR LIVES TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE
This is what I think of when I think of the story of Kobe Bryant, his beautiful daughter, Gianna, and all the amazing souls who perished. These were people dedicating their lives to being great parents, volunteers, and community members. People of service and connection. People who helped others rise. They nurtured kids and teens to be the best that they could be.
It’s never fair when we lose the good ones too soon. It doesn’t make sense in our minds. It sometimes seems like the Universe is an unjust place. However, I challenge you not to ask, “Why? Why did this happen? How did this happen?” Instead I challenge you to carry on his good work.
PICK UP THE TORCH AND DO WORK THAT MATTERS
I challenge you to pick up that torch and carry it. Be all that he stood for. Work as hard as he worked. Dedicate your life to loving, connection, service, your community, and making the world a better place.
If there’s any beauty that can come out of tragedy, it’s the fact that we can be inspired to continue the legacy. Let’s continue the work that is left unfinished. Pick up the torch, my friends. Carry on. Carry on like you’ve never done before. Make your life meaningful. Work hard. Love even harder.
NEVER DOUBT THE IMPACT YOU CAN HAVE
Don’t quit. Refuse to give up. Keep going. Words Kobe said often. As Kobe looks down upon us, upon our world, and upon you, he will smile knowing that his life was not in vain. He will know that his love and good work is carried on and carried out in each and every one of us.
We have lost Kobe. However, the spirit and energy of what he stood for never has to die. For it can live on in each and every one of us. I didn’t know Kobe. And to be honest, I didn’t follow basketball much. I think that this is what he would want us to do. And I believe that this is the beauty and the lesson of the loss of a great man. #Mamba Mentality. Mamba Out.
“What I’ve learned is to … always keep going. Do you love the process? That gets you to that. Those boring, agonizing moments. If you love that, then you know you found something that’s really true to you.You know, if you do the work, you work hard enough, dreams come true. Those times when you get up early and you work hard. Those times when you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don’t feel like working, you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself , but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.” –Kobe Bryant’s words in The Lakers’ Tribute video