The best story I read this week about moving on had to do with high school basketball tryouts.
As it turns out, last week was a pretty full one for stories about what happens next. The CEO of Groupon resigned, prompting one of the more lively resignation letters you’re likely to see (it begins: After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today. If you’re wondering why … you haven’t been paying attention). The dreaded sequester prompted a veritable commentating frenzy speculating on where Congress goes from here. And, in case you’ve been living under a rock, the Bishop of Rome retired to spend his remaining years in prayer and study with his cats, leaving the rest of us to guess who’s next – or, in at least in my case, not.
My favorite story about what’s next, however, was about a high school junior who got cut from the varsity basketball team. Cincinnati native Rico Hill said about not making the team, “It hurt me personally,” the high schooler said. “I didn’t want it to affect how I was doing in school though, so I had to talk to a couple of people about it.”
This is what he heard from a religion teacher and basketball coach Jim Telles: “We talk to them and say, ‘Now that you’ve been cut from something you absolutely love, what’s next? What can you do with this anger and sorrow that you’re feeling?’” Telles said. “We try to have them use those emotions to be the motivating force to get involved in something else, whether it be another sport, activity or club.”
That strikes me as just about right. For Groupon, “what’s next” is about getting a business back on track. For the papal conclave, there are about as many opinions about what “what’s next” means as there are Catholics. And as far as what “what’s next” looks like to political leaders, your guess is as good as mine. But for a high school kid and the teachers who support him, “what’s next” was about having the courage to move past “what do I want?” and instead ask the question “what could be?”