Are you still above ground? Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams has played his entire NBA career there with Russell Westbrook. Westbrook was traded to the Rockets over the summer. This will be the first year that New Zealander (one of only four Kiwis to ever play in the NBA) Adams will be there without him. 

“Obviously it’s a bit tough, mate,” he replied when asked how it felt to lose his teammate, “but you know, you deal with it. Still above ground.”

Still above ground. 

The more comfortable our lives get – and they’re pretty comfortable compared to 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago…even 10 years ago – that comfort doesn’t seem to lessen the tragedy we feel when unwanted things happen. The difference? 

The more comfortable we get, the smaller the things we get upset about. A dropped call while driving, shaky wifi makes you wait while streaming something, an extra-long traffic light. The grand parade of smallness that upset marches on all day, sunrise to sunset.

One antidote?

Still above ground.

Sure, get upset that your coffee isn’t as hot as you’d like. AND say out loud, “still above ground.”

That gift of being above ground is with us every moment we’re alive and can be recognized any time to bring a wider perspective to the daily discomforts that wear the mask of tragedy.

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