Finding Strength; Lessons From An Ice Hockey Game

By Kevin A. Sensenig

I was once watching an ice hockey game, and the defense was having trouble finding position,
and was outnumbered. Their opponents were pressing in with their offense. But the defense kept
pushing back, until it could find enough players to form a coherent setup, and proceeded to
defend quite well. I also learned something: I learned to recognize a weak defensive setup, and
then recognized a strong, distributed defense, where all the plays were covered. So I learned
something about ice hockey.

There are 2 lessons here: 1) it can take some time, and strategy, to set up a coherent defense, or
position; and 2) one can learn from weakness, and recognize a strong position, what that looks
like.  This all occurs also in the mind. Thus, by reviewing the picture of events, perceptions, and views
as they unfold, about this or that in one’s life, one can set up a relational picture that is stronger
and more dynamic, and better prepared, and more deeply participant. One can see the individual
people and perceptions and how they are relative, and how this applies. Also, one can recognize
the weak perception or viewpoint, or language, and better understand, “Aha! That’s how I can
work with such and such.”

Such moments are palpable, and carry a real sense of “being-with”
events and people and thought and speech and action, within and part of the world around one.
This may be helpful in the case of dilemma. It is within dilemma that we can recognize a need. It
is within both dilemma and not-dilemma that we can be actively part-of with the world, and
participant with it, including others, perceptions, and events. Resources, including from others,
and mental resources, are key.