Be a Good Team Player

To celebrate omega-3s, a friend of my papa’s, Mr. Fish, invited me to a restaurant that served delicious fish hot pot. A few of his students (he was a professor in the performing arts), who were actors and singers, also joined us for dinner because eating delicious fish was one of the main ingredients to reaching fame.

As I began picking through the 100 pieces of bones in the fishes, they began talking about a charity show that they hosted to raise money for the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. My papa’s friend, Mr. Fish, was praising one of his students who was the show host for the charity event. The event was held in one of the poorest areas in China so there was no “venue” to work with; thus, the show crew had to build everything from scratch, such as the stage and the seating area.

Numerous problems occurred that day because of limited human resources and limits on technology equipments. Therefore, no staff had time to set up the hundreds of chairs for the audience. While Mr. Fish was frantically solving other problems, he saw his student, Ms. Show Host, in her nice shoes and pretty dress, lifting the chairs off trolleys and setting them down in the seating area. He said she impressed him because that was not her responsibility and seeing a young woman doing so, in clothing unsuitable for such manual labor work, was a pleasant surprise.

As I spit out five fish bones, I looked up to see what her reaction was. All she did was smile and said that if she didn’t help, it would have further delayed the event.

At that point, I understood why out of the thousands of students that Mr. Fish had, that he chose to invite her to celebrate the existence of omega-3s. She was not only easily likeable but she was also a great team player. Her job was to be prepared to host the charity event, which she did. So she was done. The need to set up the chairs for the event was not her problem. She could care less and could’ve just hung out with the grass and the trees and waited for the event to start. But she wanted to be a great team player, not just a great player. She knew that they were short on staff and already ran into numerous problems. So if she didn’t pitch in, then the event would’ve been much delayed.

Sometimes we work so hard to shine after extensively preparing for that shining moment that we forget what really matters. If Ms. Show Host didn’t help set up the chairs, the charity show would have been more delayed and people would have left. The goal to raise money would have gotten a slash since the delay would have pushed people away. It wasn’t her job to help set up the chairs but she knew that if she didn’t pitch in, the event would be going down hill faster than it already was.

One of my coaches said not to try so hard to make yourself look good but instead to make your partner look good. This is because if your partner looks good, you’ll look good. And that’s all good. Now everybody sing with me! Make your partner look good and you look good and we all look good!

(I am going to search for a synonym for “good.”)


Please keep in mind though that there’s a difference between “partner” and “enemy.” If we were combating during World War I, I don’t think it’ll be such a good idea to make our enemies look good by offering Germany submarines after we destroy theirs. President Wilson would not have been too happy about that.

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