A couple of days ago there was a UFC fight in Las Vegas for the welterweight title. Tyron Woodley was the defending champion. Kamaru Usman was the opponent. The champ lost. Badly.
But it was what happened after the fight that got all the press. Tyron’s mom, Deborah, a 66-year-old who raised Tyron all by herself while working multiple jobs – as she put it, she did what she had to do – approached the new champion as he limped to his dressing room with the championship belt slung over his shoulder.
Deborah, who has a long history of showing grace to the opponents of her son (she even did it during his wrestling days in high school back in Missouri). Tonight was no different. She hollered at the victor, approached him and hugged him. He broke down crying into her shoulder, apologizing to her. You can read more and see the video here.
“It’s all good, baby. It’s all good. It’s your turn. It ain’t his turn.”
Her kindness clearly moves Usman, who won the contest and was now the current champion. Proving that even champions and winners need encouragement.
Do you have any doubt whatsoever that Deborah and her son, Tyron, are the real winners? Do you have any doubt at all that Usman, now the UFC welterweight champion is the winner? Do you have any doubt that by seeing this story YOU are a winner, benefiting from the grace shown by a 66-year-old mother?
Yeah, me neither. We’re all better for it.
Look at that. Look at the reach. The impact. The power.
Is it that winners also need encouragement or is it that in order to win we all need it? I think the later.
Who benefits more? The person giving the encouragement or the person receiving it?
Does it matter? It’s not a contest where somebody wins and somebody loses. It’s not even a matter of who wins more. It’s a matter of need, opportunity and benefit. The need for encouragement and grace is high. Always. The opportunities to extend grace, compassion and understanding – and encouragement – are equally high. There’s never a time where you’ll struggle to find it. It’s staring you in the face almost at every turn. Daily. And the benefit? Well, go dive into that story and video and then tell me what you think about the benefit. ENORMOUS.
It’s the power of people. It’s our ability to have a big impact on each other. To help each other, even when it’s not obvious that we may need the help. I mean, come on. The man has her son’s championship belt slung over one shoulder. What does he need from her? Was she driven by what she needed to extend? Was she driven because she noticed something in the man who just defeated her son? Some sadness perhaps? I don’t know.
But just like her work raising her son, she did what she had to. She did what she could.
What about you? What about me?
Are we doing what we should? Are we doing what we can? To serve each other? To support each other? To encourage each other?
I’m proud to have seen the story. I’m sad that such a story gets our attention because that depth of concern, care, compassion, grace and encouragement is too stinking rare. That’s sad.
We need to change that.
Be well. Do good. Grow great!