Hall of Fame

By September 13, 2013 4 Comments

Have you ever traveled to a professional sports hall of fame? Have you dreamed of being elected to a hall of fame in your chosen field of work? Do you want the world to remember your name? I have. But there’s only one hall of fame we should all strive for. This week I’m going to share the story that prompted this post, what hall of fame we should aim for, and how to get there.

Two weeks ago after our football game my truck broke down while driving home. I was fortunate to have another coach, Nick Walls, stop to offer help and get coolant for my truck. I then called my grandparents. If you know my grandparents, you know what kind of people they are. If you don’t, you will after reading this. It was around 11:30 pm when I called them as they were leaving the Knights of Columbus Hall. (My family usually goes to the KC Hall after the local high school football and basketball games to gather with friends.) They immediately came to help me. My grandpa knows way more about cars than I do. After looking under the truck’s hood for a few minutes, my grandpa advised I get it towed and went back to the car with grandma to call for a tow truck. He used his AAA insurance so I didn’t have to pay. After waiting 20 minutes or so my truck was picked up and towed to the mechanic. My grandparents then drove me to their house and let me take their car home for the night. Their selfless actions that night inspired me to write this post.

How many people would stop what they’re doing that late at night to help someone else out? After we dropped grandma’s car off the next morning, my wife and I talked about that. We both admitted that we like to help others out but usually only if it’s not a big inconvenience to us. We both admitted that this is something we are not proud of and would like to change. We need to be more like my grandparents.

As we were talking at my grandparents’ house Saturday morning my grandma said something that I will always remember. I told her thanks again for everything and she said, “We’re just tickled to death we could help you out.” Seriously? Who says that? Only someone who belongs in the only hall of fame that matters, the one in the afterlife. That statement should tell you everything you need to know about what type of people my grandparents are. They’re the type of people we should all strive to be. They’re role models for me, my parents, and our entire family. I can only hope to be half the people that they are.

Now that you know which hall of fame I am referring to, let’s talk about things that can help us get there. I thought a lot about this and one word kept coming to mind: Love. As John Wooden once said, “Love is the most powerful word in the English language.” I’ve taken three characteristics of love and think these traits will help us reach the ultimate hall of fame.

First, we need to be selfless. We shouldn’t worry about what’s in it for us or how we can benefit. If we can put others first, as my grandparents do, then we will influence and help lives. By being selfless we will ultimately receive more attention and praise than if we were selfish. Society often gives the wrong message about this, but being a loving person requires us to be selfless.

Next, we need to be more empathetic. Too often we are quick to judge others without knowing what’s behind the story. Being empathetic means we’re able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It means we’re able to focus on how we can help someone else because we’re not solely concerned with our own wants. Having empathy means having compassion, and the world could use more of it.

Lastly, we need to be more giving. We need to give more of our time, energy, and resources to others. I saw this quote the other day from Picasso that applies perfectly here. It says, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

I believe these three characteristics define what true love looks like. If we can take these three characteristics and turn them into personal traits of ours we have a very good shot of making it into the eternal hall of fame. It’s the only one that matters and it’s the one where you’ll find my grandparents one day.

What traits or characteristics do you think are needed to reach the eternal hall of fame? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Dee Gerstenkorn says:

    Another great column, coach. I nodded my head when you said “helping when it’s only convenient” because that’s something I struggle with too. No doubt our kids, families, communities and world would benefit from putting the needs of others ahead of our own. The world teaches me-first. So glad your grandparents are modeling something better. The world needs more of them!

  • Mary Kay Lyon says:

    Excellent article Kyle! I enjoy reading your posts every week, but today’s really touched me. You have been blessed with wonderful grandparents, and I want you to realize that you are so much like them! You exhibit those very qualities to your students. You have been a huge blessing to my boys. You are an excellent role model and coach, and I am so thankful for your presence in their lives.

  • kelmendorf says:

    Thanks Dee, I really appreciate it. Hopefully I can become more and more like my grandparents and be glad to help whenever it’s needed. Not only when it’s convenient for me. The world definitely needs more like them.

    Have a great weekend!

  • kelmendorf says:

    Thanks Mary Kay, I really appreciate your kind words. Let me tell you, I wish I was more like your sons. They are both amazing young men. I hope Brenner can turn out as well as Neal and Scott have. It’s a blessing to be able to teach and coach young men like that. So thank you for being amazing parents! If you have any secrets, please let Angie and I know:)

    Have a great weekend!