Why do you do what you do?
I chose my career path, in large part, because of a Denver Post sports columnist by the name of Woody Paige.
At a time when many of my peers wanted to be sports stars when they grew up, I wanted to be the one in the press box writing about it.
I loved sports, and I still do, but let’s be honest – I was always the smallest and usually the least athletic kid on the team. Heck, even as an adult, I’m 5’5” and a buck forty soaking wet, so being Patrick Mahomes was never likely in my future.
So, I decided early on my best hope of being around the sports I loved was to channel my other passion - putting pen to paper.
As a writer and a sports fan, Paige was the one writer I went out of my way to read in the paper.
He had, and still has, a very dry, sarcastic wit. He poked fun at the millionaire sports stars, and looked at sports through a different lens than most sportswriters.
The tales he weaved were more than just what the fans saw on the field. His tales were the about the personalities, the theater behind my childhood heroes. They were full of sardonic word play that captivated me, because it was about more than just the game.
As a high school journalist in Denver, I had a chance to hear him speak, and received a nugget of wisdom that still resonates today, two and a half decades later.
“Find the story beyond the box score.”
In other words, the most fascinating aspects of life, the most captivating stories told, are the ones found below the surface.
Life is almost never cut-and-dry, the story is almost never black-and-white. Even in the most mundane moments in the day-to-day grind, there is almost always a far more enthralling yarn to be woven.
The true beauty – and maybe sometimes the ugliness – of our world is not so much in the “what” happens, but the “why” it happens.
It challenges us to look at the stories deeper than face value, to find what motivates each of us, to find the passion behind the action.
Though at times it may expose some things we don’t like, the greatest beauty in the world is always found when we have the courage to look past the mundane, and dig deeper. Because the most amazing stories come from the heart.
Learn passions that drive people. Hear the tales they have to tell. Take a little more time to connect with the world around you.
People are more than their Facebook feeds, the soul more complex than a 140 character tweet.
You have to look deeper than that.
If you want to move past the humdrum, to know the whole story, to see the full scope of the exquisite canvas that is the world around you, take the advice that has driven me for the last twenty-five years.
Be willing to look at the life beyond the box score.
Daniel Kiewel works at the Great Bend Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.