Life Lessons From Moonlight Graham

moonlight grahamEvery year I get excited about a new baseball season and this year is no different. Will my Yankees capture their 28th Championship? The Yankees are thin in starting pitching, and start 3 rookies at position players, so the answer is probably not this year, but hey, you never know.

But as the new season begins, I also am reminded about a wonderful baseball movie, Field of Dreams. I loved Field of Dreams on many levels—baseball, father-son relationship, meaning of life, etc. But one of the most powerful concepts of the movie came from the character “Moonlight” Graham played by the late Burt Lancaster who said….

“You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that was the only day.”

On reflection, this is an incredibly profound thought, and comes right out of the “carpe diem” school.

In our daily lives we assume the tomorrows and the opportunities those tomorrows may bring, so we often dramatically under-appreciate the moments and accomplishments of the present. But as the older, wiser Moonlight Graham understood, those accomplishments may not come around again and there in fact may not be a tomorrow. The opportunities and accomplishments that are in front of us here and now need to be celebrated to the max, lest the carousel of life never again give us an opportunity to grab the brass ring.

So what does this mean for each of us in our lives today?

• We should all appreciate when things are good

• We all should celebrate today’s achievements and the achievements of those we love and respect

• We should always thank those who helped us. No one does it alone.

• We should not be scared by new opportunities.

• We should all understand that we will all face bumps in the road, some severe, but the key to life is moving forward and achieve success in the face of adversity

Moonlight Graham may have had a fleetingly brief baseball career in Field of Dreams, but his advice about life lasts forever.

PS: Archibald Wright “Moonlight” Graham (November 12, 1877 – August 25, 1965) was a real player who appeared as a right fielder in a single major league game for the New York Giants on June 29, 1905.

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  1. John Trush says:

    Greetings Lonny,
    Thanks for sharing your reflective thoughts on the start of the new season. A month later who would have imagined that the Baby Bombers would be playing so well…!!!! BTW, “Moonlight” Graham and I share November 12th as a birthday.
    Best regards, JT

  2. Jane Yepez says:

    One of my favorite movies and I still get teary-eyed watching it. And yes, that IS a profound statement. The challenge is remembering it during the flurry of the day’s activities. But thank you for reminding me!

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