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Choose to Care

Posted by TestOut Staff on

It's possible that one of more members of the TestOut Continuing Education Blog Squad has (or have) recently been watching old episodes of Friday Night Lights, the pigskin-powered TV drama that originally aired on NBC and ran for five season (the last three on DirecTV). The series follows the ups and down of small-town Texas football coach Eric Taylor and the Dillon High School Panthers football team under his supervision.

 Let's shake on it.

Over the first three seasons of the show, Coach Taylor, played by Kyle Chandler, confronts a variety of challenges including helping his players and other town teens cope with the perils of adolescence. A prominent secondary character during the entire series is auto dealer Buddy Garrity, a former standout defensive player for the Panthers and the most enthusiastic of the many athletic boosters who fuel Coach Taylor's program.

After a booster revolt exiles Coach Taylor to crosstown East Dillon High School where the football program has been defunct for several seasons, he tracks down Buddy, who has also fallen out favor with the boosters. Coach T lobbies Buddy to change his stripes and ditch Dillon High to found a boosters club for East Dillon. Buddy is dubious. "You can't fake boosterism, Eric," he says. "It comes from the heart. That's the beauty of it."

In the end, however, Buddy switches allegiances and abandons his beloved Panthers to becomes an eager and avid supporter of the East Dillon Lions. Buddy's change of heart is not because he's suddenly decided that faking boosterism is, in fact, possible. Rather, he makes a conscious decision to care about something new. Choosing to care is an important life skill, actually, because familiar faces and places come and go.

Your own presence in your life is the constant. Most other things are variable, and many allegiances will shift as circumstances change and you make new friends and lose touch with old ones. Passivity is generally not a workable option. You have to decide to be present and accounted for when a new job comes along, or when tackling a new educational opportunity, or even when taking a truly momentous step like getting married.

For all of us, life presents a steady stream — sometimes gradually, other times all at once — of new and different opportunities. What you make of your own shifting reality is up to you, but ignoring or resisting change typically just makes life harder. Don't just stand by, and don't try to fake interest without really engaging. Instead, jump in with both feet and choose to care about new opportunities. Embrace changes and your new life will embrace you right back.

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