"You can't do anything about them. All you can do is play as hard as you can."
--My son's soccer coach M.E.
Sometimes you just get lucky.
We got lucky this year in my younger son's soccer coaches - both of them. They are kind. They are dedicated. And they are smart.
Take last week's game for instance.
We played a team of giants. Most of the kids on the team were at least two inches taller than our tallest kid (my son who is TALL for his age....). Not only were they giants, they were skilled giants. And they also played just a little bit dirty.
They were throwing elbows and body checking, getting a leg under our kids and sending them to the ground.
After about ten minutes of this our kids were starting to complain. And cry.
When it happened to our assistant coach's son he complained to his dad about their team. And this was his response: "You can't do anything about them. All you can do is play as hard as you can."
He didn't say it in a dismissive way. He was concerned and compassionate about the injuries his son had sustained, but he wasn't going to hear any complaining. There was nothing he could do about it anyway (fouls are not called at this level of play - although maybe they should be...).
But I loved this advice and wish it was something I had heard more often as a kid. Because truer words have rarely been spoken. You can't do anything about THEM. Whoever "them" is. Friend. Enemy. Co-worker. Partner. Child. Teammate or Opponent.
The only thing you can do is decide what you are going to do about what "they" have done. Walk away. Leave. Push back. Ignore. Speak Up. Forgive. Give hugs. Play harder.