The holiday season is only a few days away, with plenty to look forward to: food, vacations, shopping, decorating, giving, food, presents, food, sharing, family, friends, food…did I mention food? It’s the time of year when we strive to do the best we can for our friends and family. But it can also be a time of year when we can harness our inner superpowers to touch the lives of those far beyond our immediate networks.
In Idanics, I call this concept “Kind-Errific.” In other words, imagine a fantastic red velvet cupcake where the red velvet cake represents random Kindness and the absolutely delicious white cream cheese frosting represents Terrific; together they equal Kind-Errific: a chance to make a life better for someone else. The idea behind Kind-Errific came to me a few months ago.
I attended the funeral of my brother-in-law’s father. He was a great man, father, husband, grandparent, co-worker, colleague, and friend. At the end of the funeral service, his wife called me aside.
“Idan, I wanted to thank you,” she said as she wrapped her arms around me.
“You don’t have to thank me,” I said. “Rain, snow, sleet, hurricane, blizzard, tornado–I was not going to miss this.”
She smiled. “I wanted to thank you for what you did…the tickets to the Masters.”
A couple years ago, her husband had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease: a crippling and debilitating disease that quickly consumes the body. It was always her husband’s dream to attend the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. He loved golf. It was his passion. The Masters has become one of the most popular sporting events and certainly one of the hardest to find tickets to. Fortunately, my involvement in professional sports helped me locate a couple passes to the Masters for him and his wife.
“Yes, I wanted to thank you so much for the passes to the Masters. It meant so much to us,” she said.
“You are very welcome. I am so happy you were able to go,” I replied.
Then she grabbed my hand and said, “Idan, thank you for more than the passes, thank you for what you did.” I didn’t understand.
“We walked to the Masters Pro Shop on the second day of the tournament. A Masters shirt caught his eye. He walked over to the aisle and unfolded the shirt. I saw him lift the price tag from inside the collar and then rest the shirt back on the stand. ‘Get it,’ I said to him. He thought it was just the coolest shirt, but he thought the $100 price tag was too expensive. I insisted he buy it. He looked at me and I insisted again, so he picked up the shirt and walked over to the counter. The disease had begun to overtake his motor skills, so he wasn’t able to smile, but I knew how excited he was to have the shirt. To make a long story short Idan, I buried him in this shirt. Thank you for touching his life and bringing his dream closer to him.”
I cried. At that moment I realized that we never truly know how we can affect someone’s life. This holiday season, let’s all be Kind-Errifc. It makes a difference. I promise.
In recent articles this year, The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated referred to Idan Ravin as the “Hoops Whisperer” because of his unique ability to engage, inspire, and challenge the many NBA players he trains. Idan has worked with many of the NBA’s elite, including Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Elton Brand (Philadelphia 76ers) Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns), and Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies).
More stories from Idan:
Don’t Wait Until the New Year to Make Your Resolutions
The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Gift Giving