Anyone with even a passing interest in the game of golf is always intrigued this time of year. And for the die-hard golfers and golf fans the past weekend was an opportunity to binge watch one of the greatest four days in the year; the Masters in Augusta. I’ve never had an opportunity to attend the Masters in Augusta, but it is definitely on my bucket list!
The 2017 Masters had everything you could ask for. A final round battle among five excellent players where up to the last two hours or so there was a chance for anyone of them to win the green jacket. There was Georgia Tech hero Matt Kucher hitting a hole-in-one on the 16th hole – and then giving the ball to a kid in the gallery. And then a playoff for the win with Sergio Garcia winning over Justin Rose. What a great ending to a classic event.
A lot has been made over Sergio Garcia finally winning the green jacket as Masters Champion. He has had so many years of disappointment and failure in the Masters and in other major golf tournaments. Often falling apart in the final stretch, Garcia became the subject of a lot of jokes and derision among golf fans.
What a hard thing that must be. To be mocked and expected to lose, to fall apart in the final stretch, to fail again. For many of us that kind of humiliation and negative attention would drive us to give up, to withdraw, and to maybe believe that we are failures. But not Sergio Garcia. He continued over the years to battle and strive for victory. He said yesterday after his win that “I know I can be a hard-headed man sometimes. … There has been a little bit of drama in my career, but obviously with a happy ending.”
We often relate ‘hard headed’ with something negative. We view people we consider ‘hard headed’ as difficult and problematic. But being ‘hard headed’ is sometimes just what it takes to win. Because in order to accept and believe that there is hope you just have to refuse to give up and you need to be a little hard headed. That is not only true in the final round of the Masters; but in life itself.
The people that St. Vincent de Paul Georgia helps every day are able to see that there is always hope because they are willing, when necessary, to be hard headed. They are committed to making their lives, and the lives of their families, better. And we work with them to help make that happen. Whether it is financial assistance to get them through a temporary ‘bump in the road’, a referral to a partner agency that can help, food to put on the table, education classes, or any number of other services and support, we are there to work side-by-side with them so that they can win.
And we can be a little hard headed too. Hard headed enough to advocate for changes in policy and law that need to happen to help people have better lives. Hard headed enough to fight for adequate funding for programs that fill a real need in our society and which help the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable of our citizens. Hard headed enough to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, or who have no voice that will be heard by the powerful and those in charge.
Because in order to have a happy ending you need to have a commitment to never quit. There is always hope.