I wrote this blog after the recent England vs. Colombia game at the World Cup. I’m an Englishman so it was obvious where my loyalties lay. As I watched the game I realized something I had never ascertained about elite sport. Until that game I had mostly watched for the technical aspects, the break-out moments of eye-watering skill. But I saw something new and interesting.
One of the England players, Ashley Young, was substituted deep into extra time. He looked absolutely spent and hobbled from the field like an old man. He could barely muster the strength for high fives from his team mates, almost wincing at the impact of each good-hearted slap. He had spent around one hundred minutes, along with the other twenty-one players sprinting up and down, crashing into his opponent and stretching his physical limits to the absolute maximum. As he staggered off, it was clear that he had left everything on the field in the most literal sense. Young essentially left the field as a hollow shell of a man because he had poured all of himself, physical, emotional, mental into that game.
Why does this remind me of 6 Points? It’s because I see the commitment that such a summer camp indices in its participants. It’s not enough to exert every sinew in your main choice of sport on camp. For 6 Points competitors they leave it all on the field, whether that be the actual sport or even grace after meals! If it’s elevating the Torah for a Shabbat morning service, a 6 Points participant wants to get it done right, not half-heartedly. The same goes for the non-sport activities like Color Wars. Every single competitor competes in every aspect of their day. They might not win every time but they will have ensured they, literally, did everything in their power to succeed.
In one of our most important prayers, the Shema, we are told: וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ׃
You shall love the Eternal your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Not half-heartedly. Not in a mealy-mouthed fashion. But with every aspect of your being. If we are living right, that’s how we should approach every task in life. We only live once so why do it at half-speed? That’s what the World Cup taught me this summer and that’s what 6 Points teaches me every summer.