A lesson from Hank Aaron on love and hate

Hank Aaron’s number 44
Photo courtesy of BaseballBacks

This summer my family travelled to Cooperstown, NY to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. While there, I spent some time in the Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream exhibit.

I paused for a long time in front of a display of letters written to Hank Aaron. Two letters mounted side by side caught my attention. The first expressed gratitude to Aaron for his gracious demeanour during an interaction with that person some time before. The second was filled with hate. The writer wished for Aaron’s failure and referred to him as a “niggerman.”

Decades after the letters were written I could still feel the vibrations emanating from each. The first radiated gratitude and appreciation; the second emitted hatred, anger and resentment.  My eyes shifted back and forth between the two letters.

Love / Hate.
Gratitude / Anger.
Appreciation / Resentment

What I realized then was, the letters had nothing to do with Hank Aaron, who he was or what he did.

The letters were all about the people who wrote them. One person lived with gratitude, joy and appreciation; the other person lived in anger, hatred and resentment. The gratitude or the anger lived in them, not in Hank Aaron. He was going about becoming one of the greatest baseball players that ever lived, no matter how they felt about it.

I reflected, then, on my own life, for I have received plenty of love, gratitude and appreciation, and I have received anger and resentment, too.

When I consider the people who give me love and appreciation, I see that that’s how they choose live, day in and day out. Those who dish out anger and resentment live in a constant swirl of stress, anger and bitterness.

Standing there, looking at contrasting letters penned to one of the all-time greats, I realized that who I am and what I achieve has nothing to do with the people who express their opinions about it.



About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on October 9, 2012, in Belief, good faith, Gratitude, How do you define success?, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, spirit and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Once again…very well said. Thanks Arlene for reminding us that life is all about our perception and choices.

    With gratitude for your ponderings,

  1. Pingback: My Homepage

  2. Pingback: London Weddings

  3. Pingback: Staff Restaurants

  4. Pingback: tatuaggi

  5. Pingback: faithorn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

and the words that echo..

a lot of words...

Hurry Up & Wait

Random thoughts and a collection of ideas, stories and photos

Alex on Faith

Growing in faith together!

Be Different "BUT" Be Yourself

Journey from severe depression - Self healing - Acceptance - Learning - Growth - Connecting - Understanding - learning


« me arrodillo por las noches ante tigres que no me dejarán ser. »

La Audacia de Aquiles

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Moral Fibre

Musings of She who Knits in Churches


comida italiana



The Godly Chic Diaries

Smiling • Writing • Dreaming

Be Blogger (Official)

Writing is all about finding the courage to write. And courage is all about realizing that some things are more important than fear.

Yellingrosa's Weblog

Poetry, Visual Arts, Music and IT Tech


Breathe, read...smile


Simple made easy! psychology love feeling emotion thought behaviour success strategy

Diary Of A Growing Black Man

Personal website sharing life experiences and vision

Jay Colby

Life, Inspiration & Motivation

Health Sources

Health , Beauty and Food

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings

Reverend Erin

Thoughts on Ministry from a First-Time Minister

%d bloggers like this: