Home » A Word About » A Word about Basics

A Word about Basics

A Word about Basics

Harold Duncan 2014 SMYou may have heard the story about the big-game hunter. He was known far and wide for his excellent, long distance marksmanship. He could out-shoot everyone and could hit his target with amazingly consistent accuracy.

One day, as he was walking through the jungle, he was surprised by a lion, on the verge of pouncing. Startled, he hurriedly turned toward the lion but did not have time to aim. He shot from the hip and missed. The lion pounced, missed the hunter and ran off into the jungle.

Shaken, the hunter decided that he had been so intent on sharpening his long-distance shooting skills, that he had neglected the basics. He went back to his camp, set up a row of targets and started practicing his “short shots.”

He heard a rustling in the underbrush, and when he parted to bushes, he saw that same lion practicing his “short jumps!”

Vince Lombardi was a football player, coach, and executive. He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, when he led his team to three straight and five total league championships in seven years, including winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. Lombardi is considered by many to be one of the best and most successful coaches in NFL history.

One of his most memorable quotes was spoken at the beginning of training camp to professional football players. Lombardi, holding a football in his hand, said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

Think about it. Although our lives can be (and often are) very complex, the day-to-day living of our lives is relatively simple and fundamental. We are best served when we focus on the basics.

I am reminded of Robert Fulghum’s All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1986).  Some of his “lessons” are:

Share everything.

  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re SORRY when you HURT someone.

Not complicated. Not difficult.

The fundamental principles work when implemented–in relationships, in the workplace, at school and at play.


Leave a Comment