As a kid, going to the baseball game consisted of hot dogs, dippin' dots, and doing the wave. Aside from all the overpriced delicious food and the joy of watching people get flustered on the Kiss Cam, nothing caught my attention quite like the wave. My eyes would grow wide as I watched a sea of fans cheer and throw their arms in the air. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.
I am still a sucker for the wave. When I visited home this past weekend, my mom and I went to a baseball game. We did our usual ritual of cracking peanuts on the ground and spending too much money on hot dogs. The Cardinals were winning, the early autumn air filled the stadium, and my heart was full. Just when I thought it could not possibly get any better, a group of fans in our section decided they would take on the job of starting the wave.
I mean it when I say this was the biggest and longest-lasting wave I have witnessed in my 20 years of attending baseball games. It must have circled the stadium at least six times and only gained momentum with each cycle. I watched with the same wide eyes as rows upon rows of people stood up and threw their hands in the air. Only this time, my awe came from something new.
Seeing thousands of people each putting in individual effort to make up this big, smile-inducing, spirited movement made me appreciate our smallness. I looked out at the stadium as the sea of people rose and fell, and thought to myself, “I am so small.” Though the world may tell you differently, smallness is a beautiful thing.
Community feels a lot like doing the wave. Motivation hits someone deep to their core so they stand up and say, “Hey. Let’s do this. Let’s make something wonderful happen.” They stand up in a stadium full of people, throw their hands in the air, and try with all their passion to rally even one more pair of hands to join in. This honest, heart-on-the-line effort is contagious. Sometimes it takes a few tries before someone else catches on. But once the arms are flying and the smiles are spreading, it’s hard not to set down your ice cream and stand up with them. The wave could not happen if it were not for one small person with big courage. It also could not continue without the attentiveness and spirit of each individual who joins in.
Life is big. We are small. It can be scary when the world feels so massive.
But look at what a beautiful wave we can create when we decide to stand up from our seats and throw our hands in the air together for something we love.
-Molly Grunik // @molly.grunik