Link to Press Conference Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFjfdFRMCIg
I’ve been reading about what happened at the North basketball game tonight with a bottle of red. MushOfAllTrades blogged about it earlier. Brendan Durkin is a special needs kid who has been around the team for years. He was put in the game (which was at the TD Garden) and scored. I remember seeing a similar thing with Ryan Gallagher last year and thinking to myself, what makes us celebrate things like this? Why do they make us feel good?
It isn’t because he’s underprivileged. It isn’t because he’s disabled. We don’t pity him. It’s because that kid’s joy and happiness is a hell of a lot more pure than yours and mine.
Doing well on a test makes us happy. Winning, drugs, temporary remedies, etc. make us happy; our whole psychological well-being is dependent on things that can be taken away. Everything that makes us satisfied with ourselves could be gone tomorrow: your girlfriend, your athleticism, your grade in that class, your favorite meal. Seems kinda sad doesn’t it? We are disillusioned to the notion that we are in control of our lives, that, as long as we work hard and don’t fuck up, we’ll be happy. But the things that make us happy aren’t dependable. They aren’t real. I promise, the things that make Brendan Durkin happy are pretty fucking real.
It has become cliché to say, “he’ll remember this for the rest of his life,” but Brendan Durkin will. How many times in your life have you experienced that degree of joy?
There’s always a “but”. But there’s another game. But there’s grad school. But there’s work on Monday. But Adam London is dead. It seems like the purity of our happiness is ever dashed by the memory of things that have happened, and the fear of things that might happen.
So we celebrate these kinds of moments because they allow us to see that there are better human beings out there than ourselves, people whose success is more important than our own (even to us), and whose happiness is natural and true.
That’s why we don’t pity Durkin’s disability. We envy his joy.